Warriors unveil Chase Center Experience, preview of arena
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Imagine an ice skating rink in winter with a Rockefeller Center-like feel, fall farmers markets in a sparkling new waterfront park, fireworks over San Francisco Bay during the summer and big-name entertainment events.
Oh, and a pretty good basketball team, too.
From dining and other cultural and retail opportunities, the Golden State Warriors are ready to start selling - literally - all the unique things they have in store for new Chase Center. Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts helped unveil the Chase Center Experience to the media on Tuesday, a preview of what fans will see in a couple of years.
''Of the top 25 cities in the U.S., San Francisco is the only one without a venue seating 12,000-plus people,'' Welts said.
On Wednesday, suite holders will get their first look at the multipurpose, state-of-the-art venue due to open in 2019. Buyers will have the chance to use glowing pegs on a large wall board to pick their seats, comparable to the children's ''Lite Brite'' game. Pricing wasn't made public at this stage.
The arena will feature one ring of suites, 44 in all and each with improved views of the court than fans now have at Oracle Arena. The suites also are significantly larger than current offerings, 575-689 square feet compared to 277.
The Warriors formally broke ground on the privately funded arena in January . At that time, Welts said the Warriors would create one of the world's premier ''gathering places'' - for concerts and conventions, political events and more.
An app is even in the works to help fans properly plan their routes by public transportation or car depending on traffic patterns at the time. The Warriors expect people to spend more time in and around the arena, coming early to eat and staying late perhaps to grab a postgame drink.
The 11 acres will include restaurants, cafes, office space for lease, businesses and other new additions owner Joe Lacob is confident will add vitality to the neighborhood not far from the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park. The bay-front park will stretch 5 1/2 acres and adjoin to another existing bike path. The Warriors showed where a new ferry stop is planned and BART will be accessible via an easy underground connection to Muni in the Mission Bay neighborhood, where Golden State's project is now nearly five years in the making.