Officials at UC San Francisco, the institution that may be the biggest obstacle to the Golden State Warriors' plan to build a grand new hoops palace in Mission Bay, say they'll go along with the arena proposal -- if the city can resolve their concerns about the flood of traffic the new facility is expected to unleash.
In behind-the-scenes negotiations going back to last summer, UCSF has insisted the Warriors and the city provide guarantees that arena traffic won't interfere with patients and emergency vehicles trying to get to university hospitals. In return, UCSF would support the plan, which would plant an 18,500-seat arena and office complex at the corner of Third and 16th streets.
Monday, with the public comment period on the city's environmental impact report for the arena about to close, the university said that it's on the verge -- within millimeters, if not microns! -- of bestowing its blessing. It's feeling so good about the new basketball/concert/show venue that it's even launched a website, WinWinSF.com, which features a very cheerful-looking pediatric care nurse opining rather daringly, "If we can bring the Warriors to San Francisco but also provide a safe environment for patients, I think it would be a win-win for both of us."
The site then lays out its vision of what the "win-win" looks like: "a binding agreement" that would lock the city, the San Francisco Giants (whose AT&T Park would be just up the street from the new basketball pleasure dome) and the Warriors into a long-term plan to manage scheduling at the venues and figure out a sane way to deal with traffic when games or concerts or monster truck events are slated at both sites simultaneously. The EIR for the project contemplates a total of 225 events each year at the arena; that total includes 41 regular-season home games and about 60 other "full capacity" events.
UCSF's "win-win" sounds rather conditional -- what a wonderful world it would be if we could all watch basketball and avoid traffic jams! -- and UCSF officials who spoke Monday didn't really sound like they are all in for the arena. Case in point: Barbara French, the school's vice chancellor for strategic communications and university relations.