December 10, 2009

More Sizzle Than Steak For Lennar's San Francisco Stadium Plan?

Candlestick/Hunters Point Rendering: Proposed 49ers Stadium

"Former 49ers President Carmen Policy, an adviser for San Francisco site developer Lennar Urban, said that the Santa Clara deal still has a lot of details to be worked out and that San Francisco's site offered the chance for perhaps "the most stunning NFL venue in the country." But the city and developer offered no substantive changes to a stadium proposal the 49ers have passed over in favor of the South Bay plan."

Santa Clarans' backup plan on 49ers stadium [SFGate]
The Grand Plan And Aesthetics For Candlestick/Hunters Point [SocketSite]

First Published: December 10, 2009 8:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

The 49ers are gone. The guy is blowing smoke. Maybe trying to salvage the Lennar project?

BTW, LA is building a new stadium and I heard on the radio just this AM that they are going after the 49ers. SC is not a done deal and I suspect the league wants a team in the second largest US media/population center.

Stay tuned - can yo say LA 49ers?

Posted by: Gil at December 10, 2009 8:51 AM

As far as I have read the league also wants to keep the 49ers in the Bay Area as they are one of the leagues most storied franchises with the longest west coast tenure of any major pro team

I would be very surprised is the NFL let the 49ers go

Posted by: zig at December 10, 2009 9:19 AM

It will be the LA Jaguars or the LA Panthers

Posted by: sparky-b at December 10, 2009 10:14 AM

I've heard rumors about the LA Vikings, Jaguars, and Chargers, but never the Panthers. Where'd you get that one, sparky-b?

Posted by: sfrenegade at December 10, 2009 10:31 AM

Talk radio. Based on not making money in Carolina I think.

Posted by: sparky-b at December 10, 2009 10:33 AM

I'd put my money on the Jags going to LA. Imagine having all home games blacked out....

Posted by: Usually Named at December 10, 2009 10:50 AM

The exit of the 49ers will have no lasting detrimental civic, cultural or economic impact to San Francisco. There are simply better things we can spend our time and money on.... (a very hard thing to admit since I'm a big football fan)...

Posted by: Vancouver Jones at December 10, 2009 12:38 PM

I say we officially take over the CFL and merge them into the NFL...

Then everyone can have a team...like the SF Alouettes and the LA Eskimos

Posted by: Rincon Hill Billy at December 10, 2009 1:26 PM

"The exit of the 49ers will have no lasting detrimental civic, cultural or economic impact to San Francisco. There are simply better things we can spend our time and money on.... (a very hard thing to admit since I'm a big football fan)..."

I actually disagree with this. A city is dynamic because of the variety of job, recreationsl, living and educational venues it offers.

SF does not host concerts as a rule because there is no suitable arena here. Small thing? Maybe if you are not a concert goer but these "small" things are adding up more and more.

Not everyone is a football fan, but the leaving of the 49ers diminishes the vibrancy and visibility of the city.

It's part of a longterm trend that is seing SF fade as a "significant" US city in the broad sense.

SF will alway be a tourist attraction because of the physical setting but its basis as a varied and dynamic city is steadily fading and this is a perfect example of that.

Posted by: Gil at December 10, 2009 2:00 PM

"It's part of a longterm trend that is seing SF fade as a "significant" US city in the broad sense."

The 49ers moving out of San Francisco is like blaming the city for losing its manufacturing base. Its part of the evoultion that many cities are going though. It might be unavoidable.

A football stadium used 10 times a year plus a few concerts might not be the best use of land. The fanbase is now dispursed over a very large area.

Football teams the league over are moving out of their namesake cities to autocentric locations near freeways

Not a big deal at all and not a big loss for SF IMO. Move like a natural evolution for the region.

City limits are arbitray in many respects. they moved from the center of the city to the middle of nowhere at the time (the Stick) Now they are moving again to the middle of a huge parking lot

Posted by: zig at December 10, 2009 2:08 PM

SF does not host concerts as a rule because there is no suitable arena here. Small thing? Maybe if you are not a concert goer but these "small" things are adding up more and more.

What planet do you live on where SF does not host concerts? SF does not host indoor arena-type concerts of 15,000 people, sure? There are some of the best venues in the US in SF, including the Fillmore, Warfield, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, as well as numerous concerts at AT&T Park, Golden Gate Park, and still some monster shows at Candlestick.

Posted by: anon at December 10, 2009 2:30 PM

How many teams play football in NYC or Boston or DC? Oh, that's right - none. Urban areas are terrible places for football stadiums, as they're dead zones 300+ days per year.

Posted by: anon at December 10, 2009 2:32 PM

Seems to me it's got very little to do with how 'suitable' it is to have a football stadium in a city, and everything to do with money. The 49ers (owners) are sniffing around to find out who will shower them with the most tax money. No more, no less.

Posted by: Alexei at December 11, 2009 1:55 AM

I agree with the cynics: that its all about cash - cold & hard.

Given the revenue TV generates for football teams, the only quantitative advantage to location is whether the corporate logo on the stadium can be seen from a major freeway. Being close to a vibrant economic center helps to sell/lease the fancy-pants corporate boxes - the other big profit center.

Beyond that, lets get over SF as a City. It is a borough (like manhattan) in a large metropolitan region - the true contemporary city - still flush with industry and sports teams when taken as a whole.

Keep the niners in Nor-Cal!

Posted by: rubber_chicken at December 11, 2009 9:24 AM

"The 49ers (owners) are sniffing around to find out who will shower them with the most tax money. No more, no less."

I think it is much more. I think they know where there fan base is now, where consruction will be easier and which city government will be easier to deal with. The HP site has serious access issues. San Francisco has some serious poltical issues.


Posted by: zig at December 11, 2009 9:32 AM

We all have heard Gil's neurotic and incessant blathering about the supposed decline of San Francisco and the ascendancy of places like Seattle.

But just a couple of years ago, Seattle lost their NBA franchise to Oklahoma City. Let me repeat... Oklahoma City.

Let's replace "49ers" with "Sonics" and "SF" with "Seattle" in Gil's argument above and see how his reasoning holds up.......

........"But Seattle doesn't host NBA games as a rule because there is no longer an NBA team in Seattle. Small thing? Maybe if you're not an NBA fan but these "small" things are adding up more and more.

Not everyone is a basketball fan, but the leaving of the Sonics diminishes the vibrancy and visibility of the city.

It's part of a longterm trend that is seing Seattle fade as a "significant" US city in the broad sense."..............
-------------------------------------

Los Angeles lost two I repeat TWO NFL teams in the mid 90s. By some miracle, LA continues to exist as a varied and dynamic city.

New York lost two I repeat TWO major league baseball teams in the 50s (when baseball was the undisputed king of pro sports). By some miracle, NY continued and continues to exist as a varied and dynamic city.
----------------------------------------

The stadium down there may or may not get built. They were going to build one years ago at a rock quarry, and in the end Al Davis pocketed a few mil from the developers I think, gave them the finger, and then moved the Raiders back to Oakland.

The jury is out on whether the NFL "really" wants a team in LA. Due to non sellouts, the Raiders and Rams were blacked out on local TV far more often than the NFL would have liked in the nation's second largest media market. Keep in mind that a blackout often precludes any other game being shown in the same time slot.

Without local teams, the NFL can show the maximum amount of games in the LA market and, crucially, they can put the best games on. Very good for ratings. And for those who don't know, TV is where the real money is at in professional sports (and college FB and hoops).

Also, there is no real popular sentiment down south to bring the NFL to LA. USC has always been the "glamor" football team down there, even when the NFL was there. And UCLA has a huge base of fans as well.

It is probably not coincidence that the one major US metropolis that is indifferent to having a local NFL franchise is the one major US metropolis to have a "big time" college football program within city limits. And in fact LA has two (well maybe 1 1/2).

Another thing that may surprise a lot of people is how big HIGH SCHOOL football is down south, at least among natives of the area (who would be the most likely to embrace an LA "hometown" NFL team).

It may be true, though, that the NFL could afford to be more indifferent to having a team in LA while franchises in places like Charlotte and Jacksonville thrived. Now that these small market teams are struggling, the political and economic equations between the NFL, TV, and local politicians and developers may have shifted.

Posted by: nnona at December 11, 2009 11:39 AM

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