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Newsom: Niners’ claim against S.F. not a shock

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Mayor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that he was not surprised by the San Francisco 49ers’ decision to file a legal claim Monday accusing The City of failing to repair and maintain Monster Park stadium to standards required by the team’s lease.

Last week, team co-owner John York also sent a letter to Newsom that said the city-owned stadium at Candlestick Point is in a “state of serious neglect” and that the situation makes him distrust The City’s promises that a new stadium for the team can be built on the site of the former Hunters Point shipyard by 2012.

“Put simply, it is difficult to believe that The City can deliver on the milestones set forth in your Hunters Point proposal if you can’t replace a few broken escalators,” York wrote.

Newsom said the team’s legal filing was a predictable strategic move.

“They’re trying to create a narrative in case they have to leave The City,” Newsom said.

In November, the team announced plans to build its new stadium in Santa Clara, instead of in San Francisco, saying a proposed stadium development at Candlestick Point was unfeasible. Although San Francisco later forwarded a revised plan that puts the stadium at Hunters Point, the team has said San Francisco is now its backup plan, only if a stadium deal doesn’t work in the Silicon Valley city.

The Mayor also sent a response letter to York on Wednesday, saying he was surprised that the team owner hadn’t communicated face-to-face or on the phone, as agreed.


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