49ers may exit early, for a price 

click to enlarge Supervisor Mark Farrell - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Supervisor Mark Farrell

The 49ers’ lease with The City has them stuck at Candlestick Park until May 2015, but the storied franchise has worked out a proposed option to leave before the start of the 2014 football season.

The decision to leave town for a new stadium, which is currently under construction in Santa Clara, has upset fans in The City, including Supervisor Mark Farrell. But he says he is not letting his emotions ruin San Francisco’s relationship with the team. On Tuesday, he introduced an amended lease agreement that would provide an option for early termination.

In exchange, the Recreation and Park Department, which manages Candlestick, would receive $1 million, even if the option isn’t used. And if the option is exercised, Rec and Park would be paid for revenue it would have received during the 2014 season. That includes $4.295 million if no games are played at the stadium during the 2014 season. It would be more if the team stays.

The proposal would also require that Candlestick employees be offered jobs at the new stadium in Santa Clara. And hoping to benefit from a possible Super Bowl in Santa Clara, the agreement has a provision that a bid committee would be established and jointly led by The City and 49ers.  

“I am working closely with Supervisor Farrell to protect our city’s finances, preserve our long-standing relationship with the 49ers, and produce economic benefits now and for many years to come,” Mayor Ed Lee said.

The City had incorporated plans for a new 49ers stadium as part of the Bayview-Hunters Point redevelopment project, but the team still decided to move to Santa Clara.

Farrell said he spent his first 12 months in office working with Lee to see if there was any way to keep the team in The City

“The reality is that ship had already sailed,” Farrell said.


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