The cat has been out of the bag for quite some time now, but the Golden State Warriors officially announced their intention to move operations back to San Fran today. Per CSN Bay Area: “With NBA commissioner David Stern in attendance, the Warriors formally announced their intention to move the franchise to a San Francisco waterfront arena Tuesday. The event was hosted by former NBA television commentator Ahmad Rashad, who boldly proclaimed that within five years ‘the most impressive arena in America would be sitting right here on this pier.’ The location is just south of the Bay Bridge, on Piers 30-32, just blocks from the Giants’ bayside ballpark. It’s currently used for individual events and parking. Much of the time it sits empty. In addition to owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the sun-splashed news conference included San Francisco mayor Ed Lee along with Lt. Governor and former S.F. mayor Gavin Newsom. Also present were Warriors legends Nate Thurmond and Al Attles, team executive Jerry West, head coach Mark Jackson and center David Lee. ‘We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this search and for the last 18 months we’ve looked everywhere,’ said Lacob, who assured that the project would be 100 percent privately financed. ‘We decided what is the best thing for our fans, where do we go, what’s going to be the best for our fans — the experience they’re going to have at an NBA game, how can we make this the best possible NBA venue, and NBA team, in the NBA? We decided on this site. It was not an easy decision. We looked at a number of sites and we are faced with a pretty tight timeline. Our lease expires, as has been reported, in 2017, so we have five years — and it takes probably all of that.’ Under the agreement, San Francisco will provide the land in the form of a long-term lease. The Warriors would pay to repair the crumbling piers, and privately finance the arena project. The cost of pier repairs is estimated at $75 to $100 million, according to a statement released by the mayor’s office. […] The Warriors played in San Francisco from 1962 to 1971. Stern noted the team’s long local history and praised the ownership group that purchased the team for a league-record $450 million in 2010.”
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