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San Francisco Gets Lavish Urban Amenity—For Free
"The team settled on an 11-acre site in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, one of the only major underdeveloped parcels remaining near the famously dense and expensive downtown. A former rail yard and industrial district, Mission Bay was created largely with landfill, including refuse from the 1906 earthquake. The site offers views across the bay of the old arena and, more importantly, of the east span of the Bay Bridge, which adorns the team’s logo. It is one of the more spectacular settings in the American sports landscape—rivaled only by Oracle Park, the Giants’ baseball stadium about a half-mile to the north."
"The center’s most appealing exterior feature may be an entry plaza—roughly the size of two basketball courts—framed on the east side by a glass pavilion housing an amphitheater (designed by SHoP) and on the west by the arena itself and an enormous video screen mounted to the building’s façade. A public walkway encircles the entire drum, sloping downward from the entry plaza through an appealing box-canyon-like passage on the south side and through a paseo lined with restaurants and the NBA’s largest team store on the north side. A series of stairs and plazas on the east side overlook the bay."