Welcome Back, Giants!

I’m not a baseball person. My father is. My business partner is. If I’m being really honest, I was always the kid in the outfield looking at the flowers in the grass when a ball would unexpectedly come my way and interrupt my flower or sky gazing. But I live in San Francisco, and we are the World Champions of Baseball!

SF Giants, image from SF Giants
SF Giants, image from SF Giants

At least, for the moment.

While the first home game isn’t until this Friday, the first SF Giants game is today. Somewhere. Apparently, Los Angeles. And we got our hats handed to us and then some, losing 4-0. Kinda makes ya wonder if Buster Posey feels bad about taking the $167 million contract extension. But hey, we all have our bad days, right?

If you happen to live in the South Beach or Mission Bay neighborhood and you are a Giants fan, then you probably greet the beginning of Baseball Season with a mixture of dread and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm because it’s time to go hang at the stadium, enjoy a cold frosty beverage, chat with friends, and – oh yeah – watch a baseball game.

Dread, because a home game bring in an incredible amount of traffic and visitors to the neighborhood. Which can make getting around a bit of a challenge. On the flip side, let me assure you that our parking enforcement department is thrilled that you love baseball. In fact, they are so thrilled that you’ve come to support the Giants that they will be absolutely sure to ticket your car if you are parked in the wrong spot or parked in an expired meter.

There is no such thing as cheap beer at a baseball game, and there is no such thing as cheap parking for a baseball game in San Francisco. You can pay through the nose at a surface lot, or you can take your chances and then (most likely) pay through the nose for a parking ticket. Go Giants!


Will This Really Become an Arena?

The Golden State Warriors (that’s basketball, for those of you – like me – that are sports impaired) announced a deal with Mayor Ed Lee to build a new arena in San Francisco.

The announced deal is to build the Stadium at Piers 30 and 32 along the Embarcadero, in the South Beach neighborhood. As you can see in the picture below, the piers are currently – on their busiest days – nothing more than parking lots. Piers 30 and 32 are also said to be in pretty bad structural shape, with repairs needed in the $50 – $100 million dollar range before arena construction can actually begin.

Future Home of a Warriors Arena?

So the question of the day is: Will Piers 30 and 32 really make it through the marathon of public and bureaucratic review and cross the finish line a winner, or will the arena end up being built elsewhere? Below are two Q&As that sort of address that. Both are taken directly from the Warriors page on the San Francisco arena project.

Will there be public hearings for residents to voice their opinions about the project?
Yes, as with any building project, there will be an extensive public planning and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, with numerous opportunities for the public to weigh in. Fans are also welcome to send their thoughts and suggestions to the Warriors via e-mail at SFArena@gs-warriors.com.

What does this announcement mean? When will the groundbreaking take place?
This signifies the mutual commitment of the Warriors and the City of San Francisco to build a new arena on San Francisco Bay by 2017. A specific groundbreaking date has not been set, but construction is expected to last approximately three years.

As you can see from the very well-massaged (not by me, by the PR professionals) text above, nothing has gone before the Board of Supervisors, Planning, Zoning, or Environmental Review so what was announced this week was a hope and a dream with some lovely artistic renderings (that optimistically include the Transbay Tower in them). But whether or not the area actually gets built in this location is still – in my mind – very much an open question. What do you think?
Artistic Rendering of new Basketball Arena

Additional Artistic Rendering of Golden State Warrior's SF Arena