Santa Clara Football Stadium
While still not a done deal with respect to a move of the San Francisco 49ers from San Francisco, yesterday Santa Clara voters approved Measure J which paves the way to build a new stadium and move the team south.
Lennar’s redevelopment plans for Candlestick Point would obviously be affected by the move, but as we wrote a year ago:

We’ll go on record with the suggestion for the development of a “football” stadium and a few practice pitches of another kind. Can you say San Francisco Earthquakes?

And no, that’s not just a World Cup fever talking (T minus two days).
First And Goal For The San Francisco Santa Clara 49ers Stadium [SocketSite]
The Grand Plan And Aesthetics For Candlestick/Hunters Point [SocketSite]
More Sizzle Than Steak For Lennar’s San Francisco Stadium Plan? [SocketSite]
Can You Say San Francisco Earthquakes? [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by John D

    I’m a resident of the south bay and I thought that the new Earthquakes stadium was going to be built near SJC, on Coleman Ave. My impression was that this was sort of a done deal but I could be wrong.

  2. Posted by anon$random

    the niners blow. santa clara deserves them.

  3. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    I’m delighted it won’t be the city I live in that is subsidizing, with public funds, a lucrative private entertainment business.

  4. Posted by MPH

    A better use would be to build a new state of the art arena for Larry Ellison’s Warriors. Besides basketball, such an arena could attract large concerts and even conventions. Then we could get rid of the Cow Palace as well. Time for the City to get over the obsession with the Niners and move on.

  5. Posted by spitpalm

    “I’m a resident of the south bay and I thought that the new Earthquakes stadium was going to be built near SJC, on Coleman Ave. My impression was that this was sort of a done deal but I could be wrong.”
    I think you’re right. I read that they have already approved the EIR and zoning for the stadium and that the practice fields adjacent to where the new stadium will be built are already under construction. Looks like it’s a done deal. Bring on the Warriors!

  6. Posted by Robbie Fowler

    A revamped Kezar Stadium as the home ground of the SF Earthquakes would be great.

  7. Posted by Jason

    Football stadiums are actually fairly terrible things to locate in major cities. They are massive structures that are difficult to use for multiple purposes and they are occupied for the fewest number of games per year of any of the major sports. Of all the major sports, it makes the most sense to push an NFL stadium off to some office park wasteland where they can at least repurpose some of the parking–normally only used during the daytime–for night and weekend games. Topping it off, it’s not like the current location of the 49ers stadium does much for SF–most of the spectators just drive in and right back out on 101 anyway. Moving the Niners to Santa Clara is not a big deal at all.
    Agreed that a Warriors stadium would be a much better idea, but I don’t agree that Mission Bay is a great site for it (despite being one of the only truly *available* sites). TBH, I wish the A’s and Warriors had stadiums in a better location in Oakland near Jack London Square, downtown, or Lake Merritt, so that Oaktown could actually enjoy some of the benefit of hosting them. They kind of need the teams more than SF does.

  8. Posted by hubdahub

    i agree that SF don’t need no stinkin’ football stadium.
    besides all the sundry objections stated above (wasteful structure/tax cost/yadda), i far prefer to watch football on TV.
    replays, good commercials, beers don’t cost $10, you can actually see the action…

  9. Posted by sfrenegade

    “I’m a resident of the south bay and I thought that the new Earthquakes stadium was going to be built near SJC, on Coleman Ave.”
    That is my impression as well. And in 2035, maybe you will be able to take BART to the Santa Clara station the long way around to go see games. Until then, just take Caltrain, if it’s still around when the stadium opens.

  10. Posted by agentsf

    Shame on all of you! I’m embarrassed that all you “supposed” SF natives can just brush off this ridiculous move to Santa Clara. NINER FAITHFUL FOREVER. All your stupid comments make me ashamed to be in the same industry as you in the city I was born/raised in. I doubt any of you could say the same.

  11. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “…And in 2035, maybe you will be able to take BART to the Santa Clara station the long way around to go see games.”
    Even if BART completely wrapped around the bay, Caltrain would still be the best way to travel from SF to the Santa Clara station, especially if there was express service to Santa Clara.
    Funny that Caltrain’s century old technology could still beat BART’s 40 year old tech. What a pathetic state of rail transit we have here in California.

  12. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Funny that Caltrain’s century old technology could still beat BART’s 40 year old tech. What a pathetic state of rail transit we have here in California.”
    Well, we’re also talking third rail metro system used as commuter rail running every 15 mins vs. true commuter rail here.
    But for the sake of argument, someone estimated this once, based on Caltrain’s 2025 estimate of skip-stop service between Cahill St. Station and Millbrae. Caltrain would win by 5 mins based on its fastest itinerary from SJ to Transbay, but mainly because BART goes around through Daly City whereas Caltrain goes on Bayshore. If that’s a 2025 estimate, it must assume that the Peninsula corridor is electrified.
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2010/05/top-10-reasons-for-peninsula-bart.html look at the 2nd comment
    Back in the day, the original idea was to have the Peninsula line go down Bayshore, like Caltrain, and have a western spur line through Twin Peaks/West Portal towards Daly City instead. I assume this would have been largely on the Caltrain ROW. I pointed this out on this SS thread: http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2010/05/mission_bay_gets_its_shuttle_on.html
    The two maps are here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/4081268334/sizes/l/in/set-72157622518181915/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/4007760726/sizes/l/in/set-72157622518181915/
    The first map has a line going all the way to San Antonio Ave on the Peninsula, which was eventually truncated to just the one Palo Alto station on later maps, before it was removed entirely. I assume we would have finished BART around the Bay if San Mateo County had originally approved building BART in the 60s.
    What’s also interesting is that the 2nd map has a 2nd phase line through the Mission (which is ultimately what was built, of course), with stops at 20th St. Mission and 30th St. Mission. What I don’t understand is why they never planned for 30th St. Mission as in-fill in the first place. The most recent plan to retrofit it said it would cost $500M to do it now.
    As many might guess, I’d rather preserve SF’s and the Bay Area’s historical transit plans (and actually BUILD THEM) than preserve SF’s allegedly historical housing. :)

  13. Posted by kaya

    Sorry to the niners fan here. I don’t care, either.
    Otoh, I am flabbergasted that the bay area couldn’t even muster a stadium to host a 2018/2022 World Cup games. We’ve been completely bypassed for the bid, San Jose still hasn’t managed a soccer stadium after losing (and later regaining) their MLS team… and I have no idea why SF was never even an option for the bay area MLS team.
    I cannot *wait* for Saturday (Friday, too.)

  14. Posted by zig

    Milkshake
    Its only sad that we still think BART like technology is suitable for intercity travel
    Intercity conventional rail would beat it any place anytime for a number of reasons and does
    What is funny is nobody seems to get this here (or those that know don’t care). Transit planning here has little to do with moving people efficiently and that’s what is sad
    Intercity trains are a hell of a lot faster than subways in Tokyo too

  15. Posted by Zig

    I agree with many of the comments above about it making sense not to locate a new professional football stadium in the City anymore but it should be noted to those who don’t know local sports history that the 49ers are the most celebrated and oldest in the City.
    I am just glad the NFL won’t let them leave the area at least
    “The San Francisco 49ers were the first major league professional sports franchise based in San Francisco, and one of the first professional sports teams based on the West Coast of the United States. The 49ers have won five NFL championships – all Super Bowls. They were the first team to win a record five Super Bowls (Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV, and XXIX)

  16. Posted by Zig

    “As many might guess, I’d rather preserve SF’s and the Bay Area’s historical transit plans (and actually BUILD THEM) than preserve SF’s allegedly historical housing. :)”
    Why?
    Despite the evidence that BART park-and-ride in low density context is a profligate allocation of transportation money that kills off all other systems you would still support more BART?
    Why not just fix up and expand CalTrain? Its superior is almost every way for a long distance trips south. If they had built the damn transbay tube with more foresight it would be true for other suburban locations also east of SF.

  17. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Why?
    Despite the evidence that BART park-and-ride in low density context is a profligate allocation of transportation money that kills off all other systems you would still support more BART?”
    Well, note that I said the transit plans themselves. I don’t actually care who runs them or what the technology is, although the technology of choice happened to be BART’s grade-separated third-rail broad gauge rail lines on some of these lines, and it was Muni light rail on others. For better or for worse, this decision has been made and was made quite a while ago. Going forward, it’s not necessarily that people think BART’s technology is superior to other technology, but rather that we already have a system, and people don’t want to transfer too many times to get to work. That’s why BART is preferred by San Jose over Caltrain Metro East (or whatever people wanted to call it).
    I don’t necessarily disagree that BART’s suburban extensions are misguided in certain ways, but a lot of the funds to build them are raised by the local jurisdictions, so it becomes slightly harder to argue with them. Many of you seem to be arguing, not necessarily against BART per se, but for an integrated transit system over the metro area, which we just don’t have here. As an example, it might have made more sense to have BART go through population centers in the East Bay, rather than existing rail corridors, but that would have been more controversial and more expensive.
    In addition, read my original statement; the historic preservationists in SF are just plain ridiculous — just say “book shelves” five times fast. And they’re certainly more ridiculous than running BART down Geary to Novato and to Palo Alto. :)
    Another thing to remember is that BART is a transit agency in addition to being a convenient name for a technology, and BART the agency could easily run Caltrain without switching to third-rail broad gauge lines. BART already runs the conventional rail Capitol Corridor as I mentioned on that other SS thread.
    It’s also worth noting that BART is considering conventional rail for further extensions, for example, eBart to Antioch and eventually Byron/Discovery Bay. They’ve seen the light too.
    The last thing to note is that as ridiculous as some people think BART in San Mateo County is, I believe it carries more San Mateo County riders than Caltrain, FWIW, and those Richmond-bound trains from Millbrae run decently full in the morning (and used to run standing room only in many of the cars during morning commute when the economy was better).
    Anyway, sorry to derail (hehe) the thread, but to turn it back, there will be some form of rail service on the Peninsula corridor to the Earthquakes’ stadium in Santa Clara, whether that’s Caltrain or something else. The reason is that the CHSRA will throw money into the corridor for high-speed rail. And if BART eventually goes past Berryessa, East Bay riders will be able to get to the stadium easily too.
    For the potential SF 49ers stadium near Great America, Capitol Corridor/Amtrak runs right there with its Great America stop. And Google Maps already has it marked with “San Francisco 49ers” (see the link).

  18. Posted by sfrenegade

    Ack, Google didn’t save my zoom level. Zoom in on the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park, and you’ll see the notation.

  19. Posted by Dan

    I think it’s marked “San Francisco 49ers” because that is their Santa Clara training camp location.

  20. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Yes, the 49ers have had their training camp right next to the proposed stadium for over ten years. In fact much of the staff and team members live in the south bay already. They are the “SF” niners only in the sense that that is their home field. And it isn’t even in the real SF.

  21. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    sfrenegade @ 6:40PM: Do you have a source for the data that Bart “carries more San Mateo County riders than Caltrain”? I would be very surprised to hear that’s true – I’m under the impression that the Daly City -> SFO/Millbrae Bart extension has been something of a disaster.
    I’m also surprised to hear that “BART already runs the conventional rail Capitol Corridor”. I was under the impression that this was both formally Amtrak and also run by them. Caltrain, for example, is run by Amtrak, as are (I believe) other commuter rail systems. I’m skeptical that the Capitol Corridor, which is formally Amtrak, is actually managed/staffed/etc. by Bart…

  22. Posted by curmudgeon

    Capitol Corridor is indeed run by BART.
    “The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) is a partnership among the six local transit agencies in the eight county service area which shares the administration and management of the Capitol Corridor. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) provides day-to-day management support to the CCJPA.

  23. Posted by sfrenegade

    “I’m under the impression that the Daly City -> SFO/Millbrae Bart extension has been something of a disaster.”
    That’s only if you compare to the original projections, which eventually might be met, just a lot slower than planned.
    Here is 2007 data for Caltrain:
    11,300 daily riders from San Mateo County stations for Caltrain (South City to Menlo)
    http://www.caltrain.com/caltrain_ridership_2007.html
    2008 data for BART:
    27,425 daily riders from San Mateo County (including SFO)
    16,027 of those daily riders come from home (as opposed to work or school)
    http://www.bart.gov/docs/StationProfileStudy/2008StationProfileReport_web.pdf
    Even if the numbers aren’t directly comparable, e.g. BART double-counts somehow (e.g. exit + enter), you still have more than twice as many riders on BART. Note that Baby Bullet started in 2004, and the “B pattern” Baby Bullet started in 2005, whereas BART opened Colma in 1996, and the remainder south of that in 2003.

  24. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Caltrain, for example, is run by Amtrak, as are (I believe) other commuter rail systems.”
    Caltrain is currently operated by Amtrak and is managed by a Joint Powers Board:
    The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the agency’s governing body, is made up of the representatives from the city and county of San Francisco, the San Mateo County Transit District and the San Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
    Caltrain was run by Southern Pacific back in the day, then Caltrans, before the current management. The JPB bought the line from SP (now Union Pacific), and UP still has trackage rights for freight, which is partly what creates some controversy over high speed rail.

  25. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    curmudgeon: thanks for the quote. I’m surprised to hear Bart is this involved – is it possible that the people actually operating the trains (engineers, conductors, etc.) are Amtrak employees but overall management is Bart? I can’t find anything that states explicitly which way it is, but it works that way on Caltrain (and would be consistent with my observations on board the Capitols).

  26. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    sfrenegade: thanks for the link on Bart ridership in San Mateo. I can’t figure out where your 27K number came from, but on reflection it seems reasonable that Bart would have more riders in the county – particularly from Colma/Daly City. The East Bay connection and convenient access to the Financial District would be a strong draw too.
    (And while Googling this question I noticed the SFO surcharge had been raised to $4! I need to stop transferring from Caltrain…)

  27. Posted by curmudgeon

    Yes, Po Hill Jeff, that’s the way it works. Capitol is operated by Amtrak, under contract with the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority. The CCJPA has a very small staff of people who really know about commuter railroads and have worked diligently to expand the service. The CCJPA is housed at BART, and to be honest I don’t know what structural relationship between the CCJPA and the larger BART organization, and what the “day to day management support” includes, but it seems to be a relationship that works very well.
    The Joint Powers Authority could have chosen to form a completely new stand alone organization, and I think they wisely chose to NOT recreate the wheel but instead work with another large transit organization. It would be nice if there were more of that in the Bay Area.

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