How I See San Francisco: Golden State Warriors President and CEO Rick Welts
To get to know San Francisco, you need to see it through the eyes of the locals. See how Rick Welts, the president and chief operating officer of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, sees the city he calls home. Having worked in the NBA for more than 36 years, Welts is among the most experienced and respected executives in the league. During his time with the Warriors, the team has acquired breakout players like Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green to add to their world-famous talent like Klay Thompson and reigning MVP Stephen Curry. Welts is no stranger to championships, having worked for the Seattle SuperSonics during their 1979 championship season. Rick will be an official spokesperson for San Francisco during the week of celebrations before Super Bowl 50.
Describe your perfect day in San Francisco
My perfect day starts with a cover-to-cover read of the San Francisco Chronicle. Next, a long walk with my two terriers, Lola and Rafa—both rescue dogs. If it’s Saturday, that means down to the Embarcadero and a walk through the Ferry Building market. If it’s Sunday, the perfect day has to include dim sum at Yank Sing. To clear my mind, the day must include a trip to the city’s best gym, Equinox, next to the Four Seasons Hotel on Market Street. Then a little shopping or a great game on TV, capped off by dinner at home. That doesn’t fit into the schedule often, so a home-cooked meal is a guilty pleasure.
What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?
Get on the water. Take a ferry to Sausalito or plan ahead and make a reservation to visit Alcatraz. It is an amazing and fascinating way to spend an afternoon.
What’s your favorite neighborhood to explore?
Just one? The Mission District. You can shop, eat, party or just relax in Dolores Park and watch the world go by.
What’s your favorite place to take a photo?
AT&T Park, the perfect ballpark in the most beautiful setting in baseball.
Where do you indulge your artistic side in San Francisco?
In a few months, it will again be SFMOMA, which reopens after a complete transformation by architect Craig Dykers and his firm, Snohetta. It might become the architectural icon of San Francisco. It’s a breathtaking design and a huge expansion of their exhibit space.
What’s your favorite event that happens in San Francisco?
A San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush, the Chinese New Year parade is the best of its kind anywhere.
Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?
Guilio Tempesta’s Umbria restaurant at the corner of Second and Howard Streets has been a SOMA landmark since it opened. (UPDATE: As of May 2017, Umbria is permanently closed)
Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at?
State Bird Provisions.
Who do you follow to keep up with San Francisco news?
We are blessed with one of America’s last great daily newspapers, the Chronicle. For what’s newsworthy in our city, I never miss a column by Matier and Ross, Willie Brown or C.W. Nevius. Sports editor Al Saracevic has assembled a staff of writers and columnists that are second to none.
Any last final advice for travelers in San Francisco?
Spend at least one more day than you originally planned and you will still go home wishing you stayed longer.