Ouch! Call stress on it a "sprain" (or whatever you want). Photo by Steve Palopoli.

Anyone who caught the totally jacked-looking steel framework towering over Front Street—after a construction mishap at the site of the Santa Cruz Warriors arena a couple of weeks ago—might have wondered just how far back in a construction schedule something like that will set you. Especially because the team’s season starts Nov. 30, and though they play their first seven games on the road, their home opener is Dec. 23. That’s just three months since the arena project broke ground in September, which seems plenty tight for a 30,000-square-foot basketball facility, even if everything goes right. (The lease for the land still hadn’t been signed with the Seaside Company as of press time, either, but that’s likely to work itself out with plenty of time to spare.)

As for the Nov. 8 incident, in which steel plates that were supposed to connect slipped past each other as the huge framework was coming down from suspension 40 feet in the air, team spokesman Matt De Nesnera says construction was back on track by the next day. “It looked worse than it was,” he says. “To use a sports analogy, it was just a sprain.”
Our new Warriors D-League team has been hot in the pre-season so far, winning its first two games over the weekend (including a triple-overtime thrilla Sunday against the Texas Legends). The team is also in the hunt for a PA announcer for the new arena, and will be holding a contest on Dec. 7 at 7:30pm at Aptos High for those who think they can do a better job on the mic than Joe Buck. (Oh, wait, everyone thinks that?) The American Idol-type search will feature local celebrities as judges, and hopefuls can pre-register at the team’s web site, santacruzbasketball.com.