Renewed optimism was expressed Monday that San Francisco officials will be able to convince the San Francisco 49ers not to move to Santa Clara.
On Monday, Jed York, son of 49ers owner John York, along with 49ers Chief Financial Officer Larry McNeil, came to City Hall and met with Mayor Gavin Newsom to discuss The City’s proposal to build a new stadium at the site of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. The group also dropped by the office of Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin for a chat.
“I’m more and more optimistic every minute,” Peskin said.
Before his meeting with the 49ers, Newsom said The City’s plan to offer the 49ers a new stadium at Hunters Point was “progressing extraordinarily well,” and that one significant question — whether the Navy will have the money this year to do the environmental cleanup required on the stadium site — might soon be answered in San Francisco’s favor.
“I was just in Washington, D.C., meeting with Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, Sen. [Barbara] Boxer and Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein,” said Newsom. “We’ve had extraordinarily positive meetings and good news [on] securing the funds for this new fiscal year.”
NFL Senior Vice President Neil Glat, after a tour Monday afternoon of the Hunters Point site, was more cautious in his assessment.
“It seems like there’s a lot going on there. It’s a very interesting stadium possibility,” said Glat. “Understand that there are still a number of issues that need to be worked through in terms of transportation issues and the length of time it would take to clean it up.”
In November, the 49ers announced their intention to build a new stadium by 2012, with the preferred site in Santa Clara, near the Great America amusement park. At the time, officials for the team said that a proposed stadium project at the Candlestick Point site was unworkable for numerous reasons, including a plan to pack cars into a large parking garage.
Michael Cohen, with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said The City has plans that map out the various transportation routes for fans, and “now it’s just about implementation.”
What could work in San Francisco’s favor are publicly expressed concerns coming from Cedar Fair, the company that owns Great America, and has a contract for parking spaces on Santa Clara-owned land that the 49ers want for the stadium.
“There’s a couple of concerns, a loss of parking, guest displacement and noise and dust and traffic disruptions during the construction,” Cedar Fair spokesperson Stacy Frole said. “We had discussions about our concerns early on with the city [of Santa Clara] and the 49ers, and unfortunately since that time we’ve received very little information.”
Team officials are scheduled to meet with Santa Clara representatives today.
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