- The Golden State Warriors’ new arena, Chase Center, is slated to open in San Francisco in 2019.
- The $US1.4 billion self-financed arena features an outdoor plaza, shopping and restaurants, a public park, and luxurious suites for the Silicon Valley elite.
- Business Insider sat down with Rick Welts, the Warriors’ president, to go over renderings of what many believe will be the nicest arena in sports when it opens.
Chase Center is going to set a new standard for sports arenas in the US.
The Golden State Warriors’ new $US1.4 billion arena in San Francisco is slated to open in 2019, and the team will move from Oracle Arena in Oakland to the new building next season.
The arena was self-financed by the team and is widely expected to be the nicest arena in the US – at least for a while.
The complex features two entrances, a giant outdoor video board, an outdoor plaza with restaurants and shops, two offices rented by Uber, a public park, and luxurious suites. There is already a 44,000-person waiting list for season tickets.
Business Insider sat down with Rick Welts, the Warriors’ president, who has had a major hand in the planning and development of Chase Center, to go over renderings and learn more about the newest attraction in the Bay Area.
Chase Center sits on a four-city-block site. The Warriors initially proposed to build it on Piers 30 to 32 when Marc Benioff of Salesforce informed them he had open land in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco.
The site features two office towers, which Uber will occupy for 20 years, and a retail block featuring restaurants and stores.
The back of the arena faces the San Francisco Bay. The building prompted the development a 5 1/2 acre park, which Welts said is the biggest new park to be built in San Francisco in decades.
In the southeast corner of Chase Center (left corner side of the rendering), there will be a public art installation that the Warriors commissioned the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson to build.
A hotel will be built near the northeast side (right corner).
Welts said the overall complex will “allow the city to have a better quality of life and certainly more varied cultural offerings.”
San Francisco’s public transit system, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), will have a stop near the main entrance of the building, allowing for easy transportation to games and events.
This is another angle of the front entrance, which the Warriors call the “gatehouse.”
Welts joked that these steps are the Warriors’ Spanish steps — “steps to nowhere.” They sit next to the TV studio where there will be pre- and postgame coverage.
The front entrance features a giant video board. Welts said games won’t be broadcast on the board, but it will have game coverage. The video board and open space will also be used for other non-Warriors events.
There will be 29 retail locations in the plaza.
This is the northeast side of the building, where the hotel will eventually be. The top balcony will be an event space that Welts said will be “the coolest” in San Francisco, offering views of the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, and Oakland.
The back entrance is what Welts calls the theatre entrance.
The main lobby of the theatre entrance has a “level of sophistication and quality that you normally don’t find in a sports arena,” according to Welts.
The front entrance is pretty grand, too.
Chase Center follows a growing trend in new arenas — fewer seats, smaller capacity, and better fan experience. Chase Center will have 18,000 seats.
Welts said the arena won’t host NHL games, which changes the design drastically. He said Chase Center is designed for NBA games and has better sight lines as a result.
When the Warriors aren’t playing, the arena will be able to put up a wall and cut off part of the building for smaller theatre events. Hence the separate theatre entrance.
Welts said the concourses are far wider than the Warriors’ current arena, Oracle Arena. He said Chase Center will have nine kitchens servicing the building, and vendors will include local staples, such as Big Nate’s BBQ, Tacolicious, and Sam’s Chowder House.
A big part of Chase Center is the luxury seating options. These are the standard midlevel suites, which have a living-room area, a bar, and seats.
These courtside suites will be reserved for the truly elite.
Welts said they took the idea from Madison Square Garden, where the suites are actually at the event level and underneath the stands. Inside the suites, there is a video wall broadcasting the game, as there are no actual views of the court. Walk about 50 feet, however, and guests will have their seats somewhere between rows 6, 7, 8, and 9.
These “theatre-box” suites are for smaller groups. They feature dining tables for four and seats on the other side of the wall.
The arena is slated to be ready for the 2019-20 season. There is already a 44,000-person waiting list for season tickets. Chase Center will be as much of a draw as the Warriors themselves.
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