SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Golden State Warriors Tuesday held a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially launch Chase Center as their new home in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.
The new 18,064-seat privately financed sports and entertainment arena, which was completed after more than two years of construction, is a new landmark on the waterfront of the Mission Bay, which will hold about 200 games, concerts, and other events every year.
California Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed attended the opening ceremony, together with Warriors officials including CEO Joe Lacob, Co-Executive Chairman Peter Guber, and President Rick Welts.
Newsom said the official launching of the arena, which was a megaproject that cost about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, marks the Warriors' return to the city from Oakland, where they played for nine years after moving west from Philadelphia in 1962.
The Warriors, who have been located in the San Francisco Bay Area since then, played their home games at Oracle Arena in Oakland, east of San Francisco, from 1971 to 2019. They are moving "back to the city" from Oakland to San Francisco for the 2019-20 season.
The new Chase Center arena will house the entirety of the Warriors' operations as their office headquarters will be based there.
Chase Center is expected to open its doors to the public on September 6 with an inaugural concert featuring Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony. Following the opening month, the Warriors will begin their first preseason game on October 5, hosting the Los Angeles Lakers.
Before Tuesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, Warriors President Welts witnessed the unveiling of Seeing Spheres, a new outdoor public artwork consisting of five 15-foot (about 4.6 meters) polished steel balls created by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, which stand in a circle around a central space in front of the arena.
Welts told Xinhua the art piece represents the Warriors' commitment to public art, which they want to be a big part of the experience of tourists when "they come to visit Chase Center along with seeing the Warriors or seeing a concert."
"When all of our friends from China come visit San Francisco, one of the things that have to be on their list is coming to see this art," he said.