Team's president makes plans to move 49ers 

In the race to build a new stadium for the 49ers, one of the contenders was ignored by the team: San Francisco.

The snub by Niners President Jed York came during a teleconference the day after Santa Clara voters resoundingly threw their support behind the 49ers’ plans to build a new stadium in the South Bay city by passing Measure J. York touched upon a number of issues, including the design of the proposed Santa Clara stadium and working with the management of the nearby amusement park on the exact layout of the stadium, but never mentioned San Francisco.

Despite being ignored and the Santa Clara vote, San Francisco officials, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, refused to concede that the NFL team will one day abandon The City.

For years, 49ers management, led by the York family, have singularly focused on moving the team from its current home at Candlestick Park to a new facility in Santa Clara. The Tuesday process took a giant leap forward when 60 percent of Santa Clara voters approved Measure J, an initiative expressing support for the $937 million stadium project.

However, Newsom remained undaunted by Santa Clara voters’ decision, attributing the outcome in large part to the 49ers spending $4.1 million to support the Measure J campaign.

The City has proposed building a new stadium as a centerpiece of its $1 billion planned development project at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Lennar Corp., the private developer working with San Francisco on the project, has vowed to commit $100 million to a new stadium, and The City has offered up a lease on the land for just $1 a year.

“We found a private developer to put up the funding, did all the zoning, got the voters to approve the site, and we have a world-class location right at the edge of the waterfront,” Newsom said Wednesday. “There is probably no more iconic setting for an NFL stadium in America.”

Newsom and other officials have also questioned whether the 49ers’ financing plan for the proposed development in Santa Clara can equal San Francisco’s proposal.

More than half the proposed funding for the Santa Clara project — $493 million — is projected to come from the combined efforts of the team and the NFL. In the past, the NFL has loaned up to $150 million to teams to help build stadiums, but that financing program no longer exists, and it won’t be resolved until the league establishes a new collective bargaining agreement.

York dismissed the funding concerns, saying Wednesday that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has expressed strong support for the league financing stadiums.

“We keep defining the stadium project as a step function, and we took a giant step forward with our resounding victory on Tuesday,” York said Wednesday. “The next step will be working on financing the stadium, and we’re confident in the plan we have put forward.”

The 49ers, who have a lease at Candlestick Park until 2014, want to break ground on the Santa Clara project by 2012. The City said it would keep a spot available in Hunters Point for the next five years for a new stadium.

As for the next step for San Francisco, Newsom said there are no plans for further deals.

“It’s not a race to the bottom for me,” he said. “If for whatever reason it doesn’t work out in Santa Clara, we’ll welcome the S.F. 49ers back home, but I won’t sell my soul for 10 games a year. There is no economic stimulus for 10 games a year.”

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

 

Dueling proposals

Santa Clara and San Francisco are vying to build a stadium for the Niners.

San Francisco
Location:
Former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
Square footage: 1.86 million
Seating: 69,000
Estimated cost to build: N/A

Santa Clara
Location:
Adjacent to California’s Great America
Square footage: 1.79 million
Seating: 68,500
Estimated cost to build: $937 million

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Will Reisman

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