On Oct. 16, we learned that our fair city is a finalist to host the 2016 Super Bowl. The other finalist is Miami, and our campaign to win is in full swing. While the headline at sfsuperbowl.com says, “Bring the Bowl to the Bay” it’s abundantly clear that “the Bay” means “San Francisco.” Although the stadium for the 49ers is being built in Santa Clara, that city’s mayor, Jamie Matthews, has been rather subdued compared to our jubilant Mayor Ed Lee. The marketing materials (introduced by Lee at a news conference), show goalposts that resemble the Golden Gate Bridge and the Twitter hashtag for the event is #SFSuperBowl.
Not that I feel sorry one bit for Santa Clara. After the Niners made the (don’t get me started on how mad I am about this) decision to move down south, The City and the team were left to squabble over the remainder of the team’s lease at Candlestick Park. The Niners only had the option of leaving in 2013 (which was too soon) or 2018, which was too long to wait to leave for their new stadium.
Like a couple that is divorcing but has to live together for a time, the negotiations weren’t exactly friendly. The Niners claimed The City wasn’t taking care of the stadium and The City claimed the Niners were shorting us on rent. Finally in 2011, the parties reached a compromise on who owes what, and The City allowed the team to end its lease one year early, in 2015.
Then in May of this year, The City agreed to allow the Niners to end their lease in May 2014 in exchange for $1 million. For an additional $4.2 million, the Niners can even terminate the lease on Jan. 31, 2014.
According to the 2012 contract, in addition to paying for an early departure, the Niners had to agree that, “A Super Bowl bid committee will be formed and jointly led by the City and the Forty Niners to work with the NFL to bring a Super Bowl to the Bay Area as early as 2016.”
And by “Bay Area” I mean “San Francisco” because we grudgingly gave the Niners an option to leave earlier in exchange for the effort.