As NFL owners and players continue wrangling over the terms of a proposed contract, talk of a new Bay Area stadium has become a tale of two teams and three cities.
Whenever a deal is finally inked, football backers are hoping it will include money to help build a new home for the 49ers and Raiders.
In 2006, a prior NFL labor pact established a $300 million loan to help pave the way for construction of New Meadowlands Stadium, which is shared by the New York Giants and Jets.
Insiders say the only way the NFL will again commit such funding is if the 49ers and Raiders are willing to share new digs. Both teams’ owners have said they are open to discussing such a possibility, although cantankerous Al Davis of the Raiders was the lone owner to withhold his vote last week for the new NFL pact.
But if the two teams were to collaborate on a new stadium, the question then becomes where. Three cities — Santa Clara, San Francisco and Oakland — all say they have the best location.
The 49ers have been moving forward in earnest on a Santa Clara site, for which the team has sold $138 million in luxury boxes and soon plans to start selling personal seat licenses. While Santa Clara officials say they’re further along than either San Francisco or Oakland, the stadium still faces uncertainty.
Even with $79 million approved by local voters and $35 million in hotel taxes, it remains to be seen how the team will pay the ultimate $1 billion price tag for the proposed 68,000-seat facility that it wants opened by the 2015 football season.
Santa Clara officials say the plan approved by voters includes an avenue for the Raiders to play there as well if the team chooses.
“That’s always been out there in terms of how things could happen,” city spokesman Dan Beerman said.
The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to unfreeze Redevelopment Agency funding to move forward with its idea for a shared stadium to be built next door to the current O.co Coliseum. Although that project has yet to develop crucial planning documents required for approval, officials say it is the most centrally located Bay Area option for both sets of fans and it’s by far the most accessible by public transit.
Oakland Councilor Rebecca Kaplan said she also would like to see the stadium include the ability to hold soccer matches and fit World Cup specifications.
“The project we’re talking about is a bigger entertainment destination and transit village,” Kaplan said.
In San Francisco, the Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment project is seen as the draw for a new stadium near the current Candlestick Park. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement on Friday that the shipyard site comes with planning approvals in place and a $100 million commitment from Lennar, the developer that wants to bring more than 10,000 new homes to the blighted former U.S. Navy base.
A tale of three cities
Santa Clara, Oakland and San Francisco officials each say their city is the best location for the 49ers and Raiders.
- 49ers have moved forward in selling luxury boxes and seat licenses
- Voter-approved funding for a portion of the $1 billion project
- Parking could be an issue
- Centrally located, close to public transit
- Still in planning infancy
- Planning already set by city, $100 million commitment from developer Lennar
- Nearby land requires environmental cleanup
- Current state of passage is problematic