Mayor, others issue an opening invitation to up-in-air Warriors 

click to enlarge Pen pals: Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob received a hand-delivered letter from Mayor Ed Lee on Friday. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • Pen pals: Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob received a hand-delivered letter from Mayor Ed Lee on Friday.

San Francisco is stepping up its efforts to bring the Warriors back to The City, with a proposal to build a state-of-the-art arena in time for the 2017-18 NBA season.

On Friday, Mayor Ed Lee hand-delivered a letter from himself, local and state legislators, and city business leaders to Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob. It asked the team to consider the waterfront as “a spectacular opportunity” for the franchise and fans.

San Francisco and the team have had informal discussions since December.

The letter, which is light on details but marks the first official written proposal, argues San Francisco “offers significant advantages for the fan experience, the success of the franchise, and for the future of Bay Area sports and entertainment that, frankly, no other city can match.”

The facility would benefit from the beauty of the Bay; access to mass transit; and top hotels, restaurants and nightlife.

“We really feel that The City offers an opportunity to come in and enjoy not just a game, but the full experience before and after the game,” said Jennifer Matz, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The Warriors, whose facility at Oracle Arena in Oakland is the NBA’s oldest, are still weighing their options for a new arena for the 2017-18 season, when the current lease runs out, and “appreciate the outreach” from San Francisco, the team said in a statement.

The City is considering sites south of the Ferry Building — specifically either Piers 30-32, currently a parking lot; Seawall Lot 337, where the Giants are planning a mixed-use facility; or Pier 50, a port maintenance facility. Matz said all three offer adequate space.

While the basketball team would be the focus, the facility also could be used for conventions and music, entertainment and business events, Matz said. It would have to be privately financed, similar to AT&T Park, she said.

Between 1962 and 1971, the team was known as the San Francisco Warriors and played at the Cow Palace in Daly City and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium.

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