SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The construction of the future home for the NBA champions Golden State Warriors reached a construction milestone in San Francisco today.
Crews hoisted the final steel beam atop the Chase Center during a "Topping Out" ceremony in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood.
"It's a big milestone," Rick Welts, Warriors president and chief operating officer, said. "To get a project of this magnitude done in the city of San Francisco is one of the hardest things, certainly, I've ever been involved with. It's taken such as collective effort by so many people here in the city.
As the final beam made its way to the top, thousands of construction workers and Warriors and Chase Center staff looked on.
The beam was decorated with the signatures of the more than 1,200 construction workers who have helped build the center thus far. Additionally, an evergreen tree was secured to the top of the beam as part of a construction tradition, and an American flag was hung from the beam.
During his speech to the crowd, Welts thanked the late Mayor Ed Lee for lending his unwavering support for the arena before his unexpected death in December.
Welts said, "To go from the pretty pictures to a big hole in the ground to now, seeing the building-up the way it is, I think we get a sense of what an amazing project this is. I think this is going to be the most amazing arena in the world."
Once completed the privately-financed arena will be able to seat more than 18,000 people and is scheduled to host an average of 200 events a year, including, of course, basketball games, in addition to music concerts, cultural events, family shows and convention activities.
The 11-acre area around the center is also set to include a Warriors practice facility, underground parking, a 5.5-acre park and world-renowned public art installations, as well as space for retail shops, restaurants and offices.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's central subway project is also expected to be completed in 2019, simultaneously connecting the arena area with BART, Caltrain and the San Francisco Municipal Railway.
The Warriors broke ground on the Chase Center in January 2017 and it's expected to open in September 2019.