Mission Bay Alliance should appeal to the SF Public or Welcome their new Neighbor

In a quest to prevent the Golden State Warriors from relocating to a particular SF neighborhood, a group called Mission Bay Alliance (MBA) went to court. The lawsuit was referred to; in a San Francisco Examiner story as, “Billionaires verses billionaires.”

MBA was doomed in court by their own NIMBY attitude towards this project. And any lawyer who comes to a civil courthouse with a briefcase full of “Not in my backyard” excuses, only makes a ruling against his/her client easier for a judge and or jury.

But thank God, justice does not only come from a courtroom.

MBA challenged the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in Superior Court, claiming, the EIR was not thorough. Among other things they claimed a “traffic nightmare” if this arena was built across the street from the newly built UCSF Medical Center.

In the July 2016 trial a court rejected all claims by the MBA. Not convinced they were employing the wrong strategy, MBA appealed and suffered another blow on November 29, 2016. A San Francisco Appeals Court upheld the July 2016 ruling. And now, MBA is looking at how they can stick their square peg into the round hole that will be called Chase Center once built.

Common sense says don’t build an 18,500 seat arena across the street from a hospital that has an emergency room. Common sense also says that hospital planners would never consider building a hospital next door to an 18,500 seat basketball arena. But apparently, one does not need common sense to be a billionaire.

Common sense does provide a winning argument if MBA stakeholders decided they are serious about stopping the bad idea that the EIR says will have 225 days of arena events each year right next door to what historically has been a, “Quiet Zone” (a Hospital)

An embarrassing campaign to defeat this Warriors arena project is in plain sight for Mission Bay Alliance, if they choose to look beyond Nimbyism.

San Francisco has an annual budget of $9.6 billion. SF Mayor Ed Lee sent a letter to the owners of the Golden State Warriors encouraging the team to move to San Francisco, from Oakland, CA, which, divided by two years, has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. Ask Mayor Lee what he thinks of Oakland residents coming across the bay to San Francisco to burglarize? Is this not similar, Mr. Mayor?

Ed Lee was even quoted twice, concerning his motives. First Mayor Ed Lee quote:
“…I’m not going to ever apologize for grabbing somebody else’s team. Someone did it to us.” SF Chronicle April 16, 2012

Personally, I view the above Mayor Lee statement as childish. And it reeks with indifference for the people of Oakland, CA.

Second Mayor Ed Lee quote:
“My gut feeling, I was really kind of almost crying about the 49ers, I kind of looked myself in the mirror and talked to some friends and said, ‘Am I going to let this thing eat at me? Am I going to be the downer mayor?’ I told myself, ‘No way.’ Bringing the Warriors to San Francisco is, “my legacy project” — a handshake deal with the owners of the Golden State Warriors to build a privately financed, state-of-the-art arena…” SFGate February 14, 2013.

I read in that statement, Mayor Lee’s legacy is more important to him than the people of Oakland, CA. Keep in mind, if Ed Lee was nearly “crying” about the 49ers leaving San Francisco he should know how Oakland sports fans would feel about the Warriors leaving Oakland. Ed Lee may not need an empathy transplant but for a mayor to have so little empathy for his neighbors is quite embarrassing; to say the least.

Joe Lacob and Peter Guber purchased the Warriors for about $450 million in 2010. Today, Forbes values the team at $1.9 billion. So with a waiting list of “30,000” on their current 19,000 seat “Oracle Arena” in Oakland, this is pure greed and or racism to want to hop over to San Francisco where the team first played once they came West in 1962.

One funny aspect of this whole arena saga: The voters of San Francisco rejected a major luxury condominium project strictly because it would have blocked the view of San Francisco bay “water.” But if San Franciscans allow the Warriors to build at Mission Bay, by lack of interest, it would be saying it is okay to block traffic to a hospital, which has an emergency room. And anyone who believes the promises made by the City and the Golden State Warriors to mitigate traffic on event days, will probably be inventing new curse words as their only comfort to being stuck in game day traffic.

For quite sometime, I have tried to get Mission Bay Alliance to listen to common sense. A simple referendum for San Francisco voters would read: “Should the Golden State Warriors be allowed to build an arena within one mile of a hospital that has an emergency room?”

I’ve been a resident of San Francisco since 1960. And I am confident that among the many people who are natives or longtime transplants, most would love to tell Mayor Ed Lee; by way of a referendum, we care a lot more about Oakland, CA, than we care about this mayor’s “legacy project.”

1983 to 1993 Bible Study teacher at SF juvenile hall. Currently prison reform activist and author of Case Game - Activating the Activist; an autobiography.

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