Mayor Gavin Newsom expressed some optimism Friday that The City still had a chance of preventing the San Francisco 49ers from leaving town but was less hopeful about keeping The City’s Olympic dreams alive for 2016.
Less than 48 hours after 49ers owner John York blind-sided Newsom with a phone call announcing that the team was planning on building its new stadium in Santa Clara, negotiations to keep the team in San Francisco resumed after Senator Dianne Feinstein brought the two men together for a face-to-face meeting Friday morning.
The meeting was “a reinforcement of the fact that the door is still open,” Newsom said, adding, “What was significant is that we meet after a day when both sides were not feeling very good about each other.”
York has said the Candlestick Point project plan, in its current form, does not meet the team’s needs in terms of space, parking and public transportation options, among other concerns.
Newsom said The City would continue to work to address the concerns brought forth by the 49ers.
The 49ers still plan to continue negotiations simultaneously with Santa Clara officials, however. Newsom told reporters that The City would not “get into a position where we are played against each other.”
Even if the 49ers eventually agree to stay in San Francisco, such an agreement could come too late for U.S. Olympic officials, who are expected to make a decision within months about which city, if any, among current contenders — San Francisco, Chicago or Los Angeles —would represent the nation for an international bid to host the prestigious sporting event in ten years.
Prior to the 49ers announcement, San Francisco’s bid had been hinged on a plan for a new 49ers stadium complex, since Olympic officials had already expressed concern about The City’s ability to secure a San Francisco venue large enough for the high profile opening and closing Olympic ceremonies.
Newsom didn’t comment on his scheduled talks late Friday with U.S. Olympic chief Peter Ueberroth, which were supposed to determine if Olympic officials would consider a plan that revamps the existing Monster Park stadium.
U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Darryl Seibel said San Francisco’s bid committee was deliberating on whether or not they could offer a competitive proposal for the 2016 Summer Games.
“[They] indicated they would be assessing their options and, from there, would get back in touch with us,” Seibel said.