Building an arena, without private funding from gazillionaire human beings, is usually pretty tough. And the fact that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are attempting to move the Golden State Warriors, after their lease ends in 2017, to San Francisco, when the arena isn't built yet, adds even more obstacles.
In Will Leitch's SportsOnEarth podcast with Gwen Knapp, she explained how former Mayor Gavin Newsom made things extremely tough for a new arena not only in Santa Clara, but in San Jose or anywhere else. Often, there are divergent interests, and with Newsom ignoring calls and attempting to turn new San Francisco 49ers stadium into a potential Olympic hotbed (which would not work for logistical and logical reasons), things very nearly fell off the rails for Jed York's team. Luckily enough, they'll open just in time and have succeeded so well that they've sealed up a Super Bowl location before the stadium has even opened.
And with all that being said, it's much different with the San Francisco project, as Mayor Ed Lee has termed this his "legacy project". But it appears now that the price has not only gone up but time is starting to run out. John Cote of the San Francisco Chronicle explains the logistics in agonizing detail here.
The tricky part lies in that before the Warriors can even build the gorgeous waterfront arena—and it's safe to say it'll be the most aesthetically pleasing stadium in the NBA, and it won't be close—there's a glaring need to rehab the piers first. That price has gone up from $100 million to $130 million. There's a lot of work to be done, and seeing how Lacob has fared under the media spotlight, he'll stay positive throughout. But it's also worth noting that the ambitious timeline of 2017 is just that: ambitious.