NFL strike could cost San Francisco $3.5 million from 49ers revenue 

Hey football fans, San Francisco would lose $4.4 million of your money in game-day revenues at Candlestick Park if the NFL does not have a 2011 season. And that’s a “conservative” number.

Officials estimate the net impact would be about $3.5 million after factoring in savings from not having to maintain the grass or clean up after the crowds following 49ers games.

The loss in revenues from parking fees, ticket sales and advertisements would directly impact the budget of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, which operates and manages the stadium.

That $3.5 million budgetary hit does not include what it might cost to make sure the elevators are still working, repainting and other housekeeping issues, or even consider hotel and surrounding restaurant income.

“Obviously, we’re hoping that the NFL and the players association resolve their issues,” said Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “If they do not, it is a significant hit in earned revenue.”

Rec and Park in the past two years has already tackled a $16.3 million deficit.

Nick Kinsey, Rec and Park’s assistant director of property and concession management, said often times when a single department takes a major blow, the City Controller and Mayor’s Office step in to help mitigate the financial damage.

“We have alerted the Mayor’s Office of this possibility,” Kinsey said.

The Mayor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

Ginsburg said there is no official plan to offset the projected losses yet, but said he would hope to continue to raise enough revenue through more commercial endeavors such as foods carts and major events to prevent any cuts.

In March, the NFL imposed a lockout after the union representing the players was decertified right as their labor agreement was expiring. Disputes are still erupting over the economic breakdown of the $9 billion industry, whether the season should remain at 16 games or increase to 18, and several other issues.

However, the NFL posted the 2011 season schedule online Tuesday afternoon and a spokesman said they have every intention of playing it.

“The uncertainty of the labor situation is a reality,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. “But we have every intention of playing this season as scheduled.”

It hasn’t even been a month since San Francisco agreed to pay the 49ers $3 million upfront and provide nearly $12.9 million in rental breaks through the next five years. That was to prevent the team from pursuing a $60 million lawsuit for having to play in a dilapidated stadium.

The 49ers are hoping to eventually move to the South Bay and play at a planned new stadium in Santa Clara.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

 

City cut from 49er games at Candlestick

Fiscal year 2007/08 Fiscal year 2008/09 Fiscal year 2009/10
Admission tax $807,467 $709,763 $765,414
Admissions, concessions $2,626,675 $3,408,882 $3,171,094
Parking $6,500 $7,030 $9,612
Scoreboard, signage $343,750 $259,458 $449,290
Naming rights $1,103,506 $448,350 $0
TOTAL $4,887,898 $4,873,483 $4,425,410

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Kamala Kelkar

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