Suit: Putting Warriors arena near ER could cause deadly traffic delays

The Golden State Warriors have had tougher battles in court than on it.

On Thursday, the Mission Bay Alliance filed a lawsuit in Sacramento against the commission, city and county of San Francisco and its offshoots to stop the construction of a new arena in a place those entities approved. The alliance filed on the grounds that the arena would, among other things, create traffic that could affect flow to and from the nearby UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

"Some people will die trying to get to the hospital if this stadium is built next to the emergency room," the lawsuit states.

Another plaintiff in the lawsuit is Jennifer Wade, whose 6-year-old son has a congenital heart condition and has had to go back and forth to the hospital several times in emergency situations. The arena would be built 1,000 feet from the hospital, which opened in February 2015.

Although the Warriors agreed to buy the land and build the arena with their own funds, their quest to play in a new facility hasn't been smooth sailing. They shifted focus to Mission Bay in April after another site didn't work out.

The lawsuit claims that, in hurrying to get the arena built in Mission Bay, the city agencies violated the California Environmental Quality Act by bypassing urban planning standards as well as violating the community plan, which doesn't provide for a structure like an arena to be built.

"During three years of intense public scrutiny, the Warriors arena won approval from 100 percent of boards and commissions that considered the matter," the Warriors said in a statement. "The decision of our elected leaders to bring the Warriors home to San Francisco will be upheld by the courts, and this frivolous lawsuit."

Josh Schiller of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, who filed the suit on behalf of the Mission Bay Alliance, a group of influencers in the area formed to fight the building of the arena, said the entire project has "lacked independent review in a rushed effort to get the arena done as quickly as possible."

The Mission Bay Alliance previously filed a lawsuit against the same defendants alleging that they coerced the chancellor of UCSF to agree not to oppose any aspect of the arena going forward.

In October, the Mission Bay Alliance proposed an alternative site on nearby land owned by the city that wouldn't have to be put through any additional environmental checks. That spot was quickly rejected.

The new arena, should it get by these legal obstacles, would open for the 2018-19 season.