San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara?

Santa Clara might be just $51 million away from snatching the San Francisco 49ers away from San Francisco. The South Bay community’s City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to enter formal negotiations on building the football team an $854 million stadium. The York family insists they need $222 million from Santa Clara in order to move their team next door to Great America amusement park. But the city says it can only spare $136 million from redevelopment and utility funds plus a future $35 million from proposed hotel taxes.

Santa Clara officials hope to prepare a measure for necessary voter approval of a stadium financial package on the Nov. 4 presidential ballot. One accomplishment of the council’s negotiation go-ahead is that work can begin on the time-consuming environmental impact report required by the state. However, significant obstacles remain before Santa Clara can place a complete deal before the voters.

The 49ers owners still want the South Bay city to pay $42 million for a new parking garage at the stadium plus another $20 million to move an electric utility substation out of the way. Perhaps the biggest roadblock ahead will be the team’s direct negotiations with Great America. The amusement park’s management has been openly hostile about potential losses of their parking capacity. And ending the resistance will probably necessitate a substantial payout from the Yorks.

In addition, community opinion favoring a handout to the 49ers is hardly unanimous. Even the stadium move’s local backers cannot promise a huge revenue boost for the Santa Clara general fund or a plethora of high-paying new jobs. So because any 49ers departure from San Francisco is far from a done deal, it is vital for The City to continue moving forward with its plan to redevelop Candlestick Point and the Hunters Point Shipyard, with space for a potential stadium if the Santa Clara deal collapses.

The massive Hunters Point redevelopment project is already making progress. The City recently announced it secured $82 million in federal funding to clean up toxic land at the former naval shipyard. The environmental impact review for Hunters Point is already happening. And an ongoing signature campaign is likely to place a June ballot measure for giving public approval to the project — which includes up to 10,000 housing units and 350 acres of open space.

Team officials continue to insist that keeping the 49ers in San Francisco is merely a backup option, just in case Santa Clara negotiations break down. However, throughout alltalks on the team’s future, the Yorks have revealed themselves as more than willing to jump ship to go after what they consider the best alternative. And San Francisco might yet turn out to be the best alternative.

One thing’s for sure: The San Francisco 49ers belong in San Francisco and nobody truly believes otherwise.

NFLOpinionSan Francisco 49ers

Just Posted

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sit in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena, Calif. on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read