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Old November 30th, 2006, 07:15 PM   #21
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Posted on Thu, Nov. 30, 2006

49ers' stadium inches forward
CITY COUNCIL TO GET GUIDELINES FOR A SOUTH BAY PROPOSAL
By Julie Patel
Mercury News


San Francisco 49ers officials Wednesday promised to present guidelines for a proposal to build a stadium in Santa Clara by January.

Few new details about a proposal emerged from an hourlong meeting at City Hall with team executives, but the guidelines are expected to include a timeline, a method for seeking resident feedback, the effect on neighboring Great America theme park and what sources of public money will be ruled out to help pay for the $600 million to $800 million stadium.

``If the council disagrees with the principles,'' Deputy City Manager Carol McCarthy said, ``there's no point in going further.''

The decision to produce guidelines rather than a concrete proposal in January reflects the cautious process the 49ers have taken since talk surfaced of potential litigation with the city of San Francisco. Leaders there have questioned whether the team was in serious negotiations with Santa Clara officials at the same time it presented plans for a new stadium project at Candlestick Point.

Santa Clara officials insist that's not true. County Assessor Larry Stone, who has talked to 49ers officials about options in the South Bay since last year, said those officials until recently said San Francisco was their first choice.

Team officials told him ``they belong in San Francisco,'' he said. ``But they were trying to be prudent in researching a backup site in case it turned out the financial feasibility wasn't successful,'' Stone said. ``Everyone wants to blame someone, but you don't have to be experienced in real estate to understand the San Francisco site won't work.''

In putting together the guidelines for a Santa Clara proposal, the team is expected to include its repeated promise not to affect the city's general fund and the $5.3 million in rent money the city gets annually from Great America, team officials said.

Assistant Santa Clara City Manager Ron Garratt said the team hasn't discussed financing specifics with him, but he said he expects the team to propose a non-citywide tax, such as parking or ticket tax.

Both Garratt and the 49ers have talked to contractors representing the House of Blues, which is exploring building a concert hall next to the proposed stadium, but the guidelines probably won't include information about that or other supporting developments nearby.

San Francisco city officials have their own list of 22 principles as a framework for negotiating a stadium deal. It includes an affordable-housing element, as well as specifics on construction jobs and who would qualify for them. They ensure that the team be responsible for financing the stadium, without the city issuing bonds or contributing to stadium maintenance costs.

Santa Clara leaders expect the guidelines they get from the 49ers to be less detailed and to be similar to those approved in 2004 when the city was in talks with the San Jose Earthquakes about building a soccer stadium. Those guidelines include barring the team from using taxes on residents or businesses and requiring the team's owners to be directly involved in talks.

Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan said she wants assurance that 49ers officials are ``strictly looking at a privately funded stadium.''

She also wants to ensure there are enough public hearings outlined in the process and that any concerns -- such as noise and traffic -- are adequately addressed.

``We'll have to see how this fits in and what additional development will go with a stadium and if it all fits in with our overall plan for that entertainment district,'' she said.
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Old December 5th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #22
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Don't they have anything better to do?

Posted on Tue, Dec. 05, 2006

City gets ally in state Senate
BILL WOULD BLOCK RAIDING OF NFL TEAMS
By Mike Swift
Mercury News


One more San Francisco politician is joining the fight to keep the 49ers in the city.

State Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, planned to introduce a bill late Monday or today that would block cities or counties from using free land or other subsidies to attract a National Football League franchise from within a 100-mile radius.

Migden's effort is aimed at Santa Clara, where the 49ers announced last month that after a decade trying to build a new stadium at Candlestick Point, they would focus their stadium efforts on city-owned land near Great America. Migden planned to wait until 48 other bills were introduced in the Senate so her legislation could be known as Senate Bill 49, said spokeswoman Hallye Jordan.

``This will prohibit municipalities from raiding sports teams from neighboring communities,'' Jordan said.

The bill would not apply to the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League or Major League Baseball teams, she said. The legislation would be based on existing law that prohibits redevelopment agencies or municipalities from using financial assistance to lure auto dealerships or big-box retailers from a different jurisdiction in the same market area, something that costs taxpayers but delivers no new economic benefits for the area.

One rationale behind the bill, Jordan said, is that state taxpayers could be affected if the state had to compensate San Francisco for losing the 49ers to Santa Clara.

Unclear is whether legislation being considered by Migden and other San Francisco politicians, including federal legislation being considered by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, could really block the team from moving, or whether they are more aimed at the political benefit of their sponsors. Migden was unable to comment on her bill Monday, Jordan said.

The 49ers said Monday they were trying to get a copy of Migden's bill. ``We won't be commenting on it until we've seen it and had a chance to review it and analyze it,'' said Lisa Lang, a 49ers spokeswoman.

Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan said the legislation would restrict her city's right of local control, and she called the bill ``short-sighted.''

``The big concern here is that we'll lose the 49ers to the Bay Area entirely,'' Mahan said. ``The 49ers organization is going to make the best decision they can, both economically and from a fan game-day experience, and if that can't all come together in San Francisco, and there's some targeted legislation that prevents them from going somewhere else in the Bay Area, what choice will be left?''

Santa Clara offers ``a more favorable site'' for the stadium, and San Francisco officials know the team is serious about it, Mahan said.

``This reaction on San Francisco officials' part,'' she said, ``shows they know how serious it is.''
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:23 AM   #23
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^ WOW!
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #24
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Old December 15th, 2006, 04:03 AM   #25
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Haps in Fremont...

Posted on Thu, Dec. 14, 2006


Fremont kicks off negotiations with the A's

By Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News

Fremont officials met with A's owner Lew Wolff and his team Thursday morning in the first kick-off session to determine how to bring a $500 million ballpark stadium and surrounding retail and housing units to the city in about five years.

City Manager Fred Diaz said the 3 1/2-hour meeting at City Hall put in place a process for moving forward in negotiations with the unprecedented project, which the A's have vowed to pay for with private money.

The city and A's plan to meet twice a month for up to six months; the next meeting is Jan. 11. And a public work session with the city council will follow soon after that.

``There wasn't a whole lot new that we learned from the meeting other than we know we're ready to go now,'' Diaz said. ``This meeting served as breaking the ice. We'll know a lot more in the month.''

Aside from Diaz, there were six people, including city attorney Harvey Levine and two sports consultants representing Fremont. Wolff was accompanied by his son, Keith, an attorney and a Cisco employee. Cisco sold the A's the 143-acre parcel of land off Interstate Highway 880 where the ballpark village would be located in exchange for naming the stadium, Cisco Field.

Diaz said ``nothing substantive'' was discussed, and there was no talk of how the A's might take care of parking, traffic and noise issues if the project materializes. There was also no discussion of a Nov. 21 A's letter to Fremont in which team officials offered the possibility of Fremont one day owning the land and stadium, which many see would be a tax break for the team.

A's spokesman Jim Young did not attend the meeting but said Wolff has an ``ambitious schedule'' to complete his vision and will move ``as quickly as possible'' to break ground, though he wouldn't commit to any specific timetable. Young downplayed the significance of Thursday's meeting saying, ``We're going to have a ton of meetings. And Lew is an excellent communicator and will be in continuous dialogue with Fremont, but we can't comment on every little nuance of the project, it doesn't do service to anybody.''

Other than the A's being more flush with cash than most developers, so in a better position to pay to expedite certain processes, such as hiring consultants to complete timely environmental studies, Diaz said the process is very typical.

``Sure, there is a lot at stake and this is a bigger project,'' Diaz said. ``But these preliminary discussions are pretty much the same thing. We were very, very clear: We are going to deal with the A's the same way we do with any other developer.''
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Old December 31st, 2006, 09:35 AM   #26
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Posted on Fri, Dec. 29, 2006

NFL chief likes South Bay site
YORK: 49ERS 'OPEN' TO STAYING IN S.F.
By Mike Swift

Mercury News

This fall, a month before the San Francisco 49ers decided to abandon plans for a new stadium at Candlestick Point, team owners brought the commissioner of the National Football League to an empty parking lot in Santa Clara where the team now hopes to build a stadium by 2012.

``Roger Goodell looked around and he said to us, `This is a no-brainer. This is where your stadium should be,' '' 49ers owner Denise DeBartolo York told the Mercury News on Thursday in her first extensive interview about the team's plans to pursue a stadium in Silicon Valley.

In a wide-ranging telephone conversation from her offices in Youngstown, Ohio, York described Santa Clara's front-runner status and San Francisco's flickering efforts to keep the team. However, she revealed the 49ers are working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein to review alternative stadium sites in San Francisco.

In what looms as a pivotal date, the 49ers are due to lay out their stadium finance principles to the Santa Clara City Council on Jan. 9. York said Thursday that the 49ers hope to make a final decision as soon as three months from now on whether to build in Santa Clara.

She said, however, that the team remains ``open-minded'' about staying in San Francisco.

``We're open to any ideas the city might have,'' York said before boarding a flight to watch the 49ers play in Denver on Sunday. ``Because of our legacy, our first ideal preference would be to stay in San Francisco. But, you know, we're kind of running out of time to solve the stadium problem.''

York, co-owner of the 49ers with her husband, John, would not name the other candidate sites within San Francisco. One possibility is to tap tax dollars to seal off buried pollution and build a stadium at the Hunters Point Naval shipyard, York said, on the bay just north of the team's longtime home at Candlestick Point.

Still, as of Thursday, San Francisco officials ``have not come back with anything that's a viable alternative,'' said 49ers spokeswoman Lisa Lang. Feinstein was on vacation and could not be reached for comment Thursday, said a spokesman.

Since 1997, when San Francisco voters approved spending $100 million for a new stadium to replace the decaying edifice at Candlestick Point, the 49ers, two nationally prominent real estate developers and two San Francisco mayors have failed to consummate a stadium deal.

Ultimately, it was geography more than personalities that doomed those efforts, York said.

``We, God knows, love San Francisco,'' she said. But the Candlestick plan ``was kind of like trying to shove everything into this small piece of land.''

The NFL commissioner's blessing for the Santa Clara site near Great America is significant, because the league is certain to be one source of financing for a new 49ers stadium, which is expected to cost between $600 million and $800 million.

Goodell was in the Bay Area to attend the Oct. 8 game between the 49ers and Raiders as part of his annual tour of NFL cities. During his visit to the 49ers team headquarters in Santa Clara, the commissioner and John York walked up Tasman Drive from team offices to view what was then a backup stadium site to Candlestick Point in San Francisco.

Goodell ``believed it had potential and it was right next to the team's facility and convenient to the freeway system,'' said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, who said he could not confirm that the commissioner used the term ``no-brainer.'' ``He definitely noted there were positives to the site, that it had potential.''

Perhaps the biggest asset for the Santa Clara site is its access: served by three freeways, with a VTA light-rail station right across the street from what would be the stadium's front gate, and Santa Clara's ACE commuter rail station nearby.

The Yorks also have personal ties to the South Bay city. When they are in the Bay Area -- about half the time for John York, less frequently for Denise York, who oversees the family's other business and philanthropic interests from Youngstown, -- the 49ers owners live in a condominium in Santa Clara. Their son, Jed York, lives in San Francisco ``because most of his meetings are there,'' Denise York said.

Nearly a decade after the 1997 vote in San Francisco, the South Bay and the Peninsula have emerged as the biggest concentration of 49ers fans.

Santa Clara and San Mateo counties combined account for 30 percent of the 49ers season ticket holders, and they are the two Bay Area counties with the highest concentration of season ticket holders. San Francisco has about 9 percent of the team's season ticket base, about the same share as Sacramento County.

``The team is a regional asset,'' York said Thursday. ``It's the San Francisco 49ers, but our fan base, as you know, being in the South Bay, is all over. The logistics have really changed.''

While city officials have said a 49ers stadium must not have an impact on the city's general fund, Santa Clara could help finance the stadium by leasing city-owned land, either for the stadium or for a subsidiary real estate development, or by issuing bonds through one of the city's public authorities.

Preliminary plans for the Santa Clara site obtained by the Mercury News also show a large restaurant, two office/retail buildings that could rise adjacent to the stadium, and a new 2,000-car parking garage.

49ers officials have said that the York family's financial contribution to a new stadium would be ``unprecedented'' among NFL owners. York on Thursday declined to say how much of the stadium's cost would be borne by the owners.

But York bridles at public suggestions that, in contrast to her charismatic and free-spending brother, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the former owner, she and her husband have been penny-pinchers.

``I think that is a misleading stereotype,'' said York, who is on the board of the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, one of the nation's largest publicly traded real estate companies. ``When I'm in Indianapolis for my board meetings, I see the city is building that stadium [for the Colts]. Dallas is getting an unbelievable amount of help'' for a $650 million stadium that is under construction in Arlington, Texas.

York said her family realizes there is not public support in the Bay Area for taxpayer financing of a new stadium. ``Our money will be significant'' in any new stadium venture, she said. ``We will do the financing. . . . We have accountants working on it -- and we are not cheap.''

Because the team is a regional entity, York said a Santa Clara stadium is not about ``moving the team.''

``We are probably moving the stadium. You can't say we're moving the team. We're building a stadium. It may be in San Francisco; it may be in the South Bay. I think within the next three months, we will make our definite decision and start work on that stadium.''
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Old January 1st, 2007, 01:00 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by metropolismayor View Post
[B]``We're open to any ideas the city might have,'' York said before boarding a flight to watch the 49ers play in Denver on Sunday. ``Because of our legacy, our first ideal preference would be to stay in San Francisco. But, you know, we're kind of running out of time to solve the stadium problem.''
Am I imagining or is that an incredibly interesting statement? That sure doesn't sound like an owner hell bent on moving the team out of The City. Has York made similiar such statements; that one above is incredibly strong under the circumstances.
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:07 AM   #28
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Am I imagining or is that an incredibly interesting statement? That sure doesn't sound like an owner hell bent on moving the team out of The City. Has York made similiar such statements; that one above is incredibly strong under the circumstances.
Well, yes...and no. York's definately playing both sides here. Take a look at this, looks like the effort to get the 49ers to move might become regional:

Posted on Tue, Jan. 02, 2007


49ers tap SJ political strategist, Sacramento lobbyist for South Bay stadium effort

By Mike Swift
Mercury News


The San Francisco 49ers signaled they are serious about building regional political support to get a stadium built in Santa Clara, hiring a veteran San Jose political operative and a Sacramento lobbyist.

Jude Barry, a key strategist in two 1990s campaigns to build South Bay stadiums for baseball's San Francisco Giants, will schmooze local political leaders to rally behind a South Bay stadium effort. Sacramento lobbyist Kevin Sloat will combat legislation aimed at blocking a 49ers' move. The 49ers are also in the process of hiring a national public relations firm to work on the stadium effort, team spokeswoman Lisa Lang said.

Santa Clara leaders have spoken to San Jose politicians about ways the South Bay's dominant city could help the 49ers stadium effort. Still, no South Bay regional effort is emerging like the 1990 plan that would have taxed residents of five South Bay cities to pay for a stadium in Santa Clara for the Giants.

Part of Barry's job will be to network with political leaders in the South Bay and throughout the Bay Area to build support for -- or deflect opposition to -- a 49ers stadium in Santa Clara. And if the stadium did face a citizen vote in Santa Clara, a clear possibility, Barry would bring extensive experience on how to organize support.

Sloat, a veteran state government lobbyist, is the founder and principal of the Sacramento lobbying firm of Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, a full-service lobbying firm based in Sacramento. The firm's clients range from national drug and cell phone companies, to city governments and the state university system.
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 01:46 AM   #29
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Santa Clara leaders have spoken to San Jose politicians about ways the South Bay's dominant city could help the 49ers stadium effort. Still, no South Bay regional effort is emerging like the 1990 plan that would have taxed residents of five South Bay cities to pay for a stadium in Santa Clara for the Giants.
Talk about insanity!!! This looks like the perfect invitation for the California legislature to go ahead with discussions regarding competiton between a California city (region) that wants to make incentives to attract a team from another California city.

San Franciscans rather get passionate when stadium issues are raised, but thisone sounds a little like a declarition of war.
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 02:38 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by metropolismayor View Post
Well, yes...and no. York's definately playing both sides here. Take a look at this, looks like the effort to get the 49ers to move might become regional:

Posted on Tue, Jan. 02, 2007


49ers tap SJ political strategist, Sacramento lobbyist for South Bay stadium effort

By Mike Swift
Mercury News


The San Francisco 49ers signaled they are serious about building regional political support to get a stadium built in Santa Clara, hiring a veteran San Jose political operative and a Sacramento lobbyist.

Jude Barry, a key strategist in two 1990s campaigns to build South Bay stadiums for baseball's San Francisco Giants, will schmooze local political leaders to rally behind a South Bay stadium effort. Sacramento lobbyist Kevin Sloat will combat legislation aimed at blocking a 49ers' move. The 49ers are also in the process of hiring a national public relations firm to work on the stadium effort, team spokeswoman Lisa Lang said.

Santa Clara leaders have spoken to San Jose politicians about ways the South Bay's dominant city could help the 49ers stadium effort. Still, no South Bay regional effort is emerging like the 1990 plan that would have taxed residents of five South Bay cities to pay for a stadium in Santa Clara for the Giants.

Part of Barry's job will be to network with political leaders in the South Bay and throughout the Bay Area to build support for -- or deflect opposition to -- a 49ers stadium in Santa Clara. And if the stadium did face a citizen vote in Santa Clara, a clear possibility, Barry would bring extensive experience on how to organize support.

Sloat, a veteran state government lobbyist, is the founder and principal of the Sacramento lobbying firm of Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, a full-service lobbying firm based in Sacramento. The firm's clients range from national drug and cell phone companies, to city governments and the state university system.

very very interesting
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 01:49 PM   #31
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MAY THE TRADITION RICH, SUPER BOWL LADDEN, OLDEST FRANCHISE IN THE WEST REMAIN IN THE WEST'S (AND AMERICA'S) MOST TRADITONAL AND BELOVED CITY! FOREVER!

Long before the Giants and Dodgers moved west. Long before the A's followed. Long before the Warriors moved from Philly, as well. Long before the Raiders were established as the AFL's low rent franchise. Long before these all there was the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, a name connected to the illustruous past honoring those people who put SF on the map.

The 49ers and the Giants are the Bay Area's premere franchises. They both deserve to always be in the Bay Area's premere city forever.

Many of us have said "I left my heart in San Francisco". Let's leave the 49ers there, too.
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Old January 4th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #32
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I think Santa Clara is a good choice, its already got an amusement park and a large convention center, and probably some other stuff I can't remember. Sports are really more of a suburb-dweller type's entertainment, even if those suburbanites happen to be wealthier than the City dwellers. If Santa does get this present, at least those coming to the region to see a game will be able to visit San Francisco (an hour away)
Plus the Valley might try and become more welcoming, making life more bearable for the locals as well.
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Old January 4th, 2007, 11:14 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
MAY THE TRADITION RICH, SUPER BOWL LADDEN, OLDEST FRANCHISE IN THE WEST REMAIN IN THE WEST'S (AND AMERICA'S) MOST TRADITONAL AND BELOVED CITY! FOREVER!

Long before the Giants and Dodgers moved west. Long before the A's followed. Long before the Warriors moved from Philly, as well. Long before the Raiders were established as the AFL's low rent franchise. Long before these all there was the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, a name connected to the illustruous past honoring those people who put SF on the map.

The 49ers and the Giants are the Bay Area's premere franchises. They both deserve to always be in the Bay Area's premere city forever.

Many of us have said "I left my heart in San Francisco". Let's leave the 49ers there, too.
This misses the point though. I could personally care less whether they move or not but it's important to realize that the Niners training facility is in Santa Clara and of the players that live in the Bay Area, most live in the South Bay or the Penninsula (at least two live in Santana Row). Whereas the players are only in SF once every two weeks for a game they are in the Southbay every other weekday. The Niners are already from the Southbay! They are from SF in name only, really.

I would like to see a stadium in SF proper but building another one at Candlestick Point is only technically keeping it in the City, and in the most ghetto part no less. Given that choice or Santa Clara, I'd choose Santa Clara and I suspect the players would as well.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 06:14 AM   #34
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Talk about insanity!!! This looks like the perfect invitation for the California legislature to go ahead with discussions regarding competiton between a California city (region) that wants to make incentives to attract a team from another California city.

San Franciscans rather get passionate when stadium issues are raised, but thisone sounds a little like a declarition of war.
San Franciscans have to get realistic about what they have to offer the 49ers, which, at this point, is not as much as Santa Clara. The South Bay has the land, the will, the infastructure, and most importantly, the money to ensure the 49ers stay in the Bay Area. The owners are thinking about the future. And in the future, the center of the Bay Area will be Silicon Valley.

And no, the state legislature should not get involved. There's nothing dirty going on here. Like it or not, the 49ers (and all sports teams, for that matter) are fair game for other cities to lure. This is a painful reality San Jose already learned when the Earthquakes got lured away to Houston (and then the won the friggin' MLS Cup!!!!). Better Santa Clara than Los Angeles or out of the state.
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Old January 8th, 2007, 08:52 AM   #35
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Posted on Sun, Jan. 07, 2007

Purdy: S.F.'s new stadium idea for 49ers is rather foul

By Mark Purdy
Mercury News Sports Columnist


Oh, please, San Francisco. You cannot be serious.

As the 49ers' stadium quest continues, the puzzlement continues. Santa Clara is now obviously the team's preferred site. Tuesday, team executives will appear at a Santa Clara city council meeting to present their outline of how a stadium deal might come together on a site next to the Great America amusement park. Indications are, the team and city will move ahead in their discussions.

Given this, you would think San Francisco's movers and shakers might be responding with some sort of sensible alternative to the Santa Clara plan. You would be thinking incorrectly.

The newest San Francisco idea -- and no, I am not joking -- is to construct a stadium on one of the Bay Area's most toxic sites -- the old Hunters Point naval shipyard, across a bay channel from Monster Park. The only better idea might be to construct a stadium in the exercise yard at San Quentin.

But perhaps that's being too negative. The newest San Francisco proposal does have a few pluses.

One, local taxpayers would not have to exclusively pay for the toxic cleanup at the shipyard site. Instead, the bill would be paid by all American taxpayers, from coast to coast. The U.S. Navy, which would handle the process, estimates it would cost $100 million to collect and dispose of the chemical and other waste buried there, including radioactive debris from World War II.

That debris, actually, could be another plus. Last week, 49ers executive Jed York was discussing the proposal at team headquarters and noted that the radioactivity could actually save fans money on their pregame charcoal expenses.

``Tailgating without grills!'' York joked.

Which leads us to the other plus of the San Francisco plan: it is absolutely impossible to take seriously.

Why is that so important? It will make the 49ers' decision about where to build a stadium extremely easy. Even as you read this, the team is metaphorically moving down the Bayshore Freeway, gradually transforming itself from the San Francisco 49ers into . . . well, the San Francisco 408ers.

Larry MacNeil, 49ers vice president and chief financial officer, said as much last week. During a meeting with Mercury News reporters, MacNeil would not even acknowledge that San Francisco's latest proposal rises to the status of a backup plan. ``If San Francisco comes up with something, it would be a backup,'' he said.

Now, to be clear: The Santa Clara stadium plan remains very much in the partially cooked stage. So far, no one has detailed how the project will be financed. That's kind of a big detail.

Yet here is one telling piece of information: The 49ers say that if the stadium plan must go to the ballot box in Santa Clara -- and there is no guarantee it won't -- the team is cool with that.

``We'll go through whatever it takes,'' MacNeil said.

Considering that MacNeil seems to be the lead dog on the stadium sled, the remark is significant. So is the schematic the 49ers will unveil at Tuesday's council meeting. Any notion that Santa Clara is being used as leverage against San Francisco is quickly eroding.

Oh, yes. What about that statehouse bill introduced last week? If passed, it would forbid the 49ers or any other professional team from moving within 100 miles of their current stadium? Not to worry. The bill was proposed by a legislator from San Francisco, so just use logic. The state assembly has far more legislators from outside San Francisco -- and those legislators aren't about to pass a bill that one day might prevent a pro team from moving to their own neighborhoods.

Really, when you peel away the layers of civic blabber, the whole thing comes down to where pro football consumers would rather spend their Sunday afternoons. And compared with Candlestick -- or the Shipyards Toxi-Dome -- the Santa Clara location is ridiculously superior.

Indeed, the closer you examine the Great America site, the more it grows on you. The public-transportation advantages are enormous. Light-rail trains stop across the street. There is a CalTrain station within a 10-minute walk.

Also, in Santa Clara, tailgaters will be able to use their grills without hazmat suits. The 49ers' rough schematic of the stadium and surrounding area, which they will display at the Tuesday council meeting, features a park-like area across from the Tasman Drive light-rail stop, in which people could picnic and throw the football around before games. A pedestrian mall leads past the stadium to the theme-park entrance, where the Great America people are likely to open up part of their facility to fans on game days. And the parking lots of nearby high-tech companies have thousands of spaces that could be used for parking.

All in all, if the tricky money stuff comes together, there is no reason to believe the 49ers will suddenly dump Santa Clara and eagerly return to serious negotiations in San Francisco. Think about it this way: Let's say that Santa Clara or some other South Bay city had proposed to the 49ers that they move south and build on a radioactive waste site with little traffic access. How loud would the laughter in San Francisco be?

If you are a Santa Clara County resident, feel free to laugh out loud today.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 12:47 AM   #36
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It on the table now...



SANTA CLARA
City votes to study stadium proposal
Officials thrilled about the project, vow no new taxes
- Patrick Hoge, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Santa Clara City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to start studying the San Francisco 49ers' proposal for a new stadium in their South Bay city.

Both city and team officials said they didn't know if the idea of building a 68,000-seat stadium next to the Great America amusement park will work, but council members and a stream of 49ers fans said they were thrilled at the prospect.

"This is an enormous opportunity,'' said Vice Mayor Kevin Moore, in endorsing the 49ers' call for a feasibility study over the next six months.

"I'm enthusiastic about this,'' added Mayor Patricia Mahan.

Forty-niners CFO Larry MacNeil told the council that some form of city investment would be required to make the deal work, though team and city officials said they won't seek higher taxes or allow funding for essential city services to be jeopardized.

MacNeil said the team is hoping to finance the stadium in part through development of city-owned land near the proposed stadium.

It remains unclear how such a deal would be structured. Estimates put the cost of a new stadium at between $600 million and $800 million.

The team told the city in a letter last week that it envisions the publicly owned stadium being built by a "public-private partnership" and leased to the team.

Team officials have said that the Santa Clara site would solve the major problem they had with a proposed site at San Francisco's Candlestick Point, because most of their fans could park at nearby office building lots and thus be able to host tailgate parties.

The team in November said it was looking for sites outside of San Francisco largely because the city's plans included a multilevel garage to make room for nearby residential and commercial development.

Mayor Gavin Newsom has since offered the team a site in Hunters Point Naval Shipyard as an alternative, saying it could be cleaned of toxic contaminants in time to meet the 49ers' goal of playing in a new stadium by 2012.

Also Tuesday, the Bay Area Council, which represents some 250 local businesses, came out against a bill by state Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, that would prohibit local governments within a 100-mile radius from using financial incentives to lure away National Football League teams.

Team officials have said the bill, if passed, could make it nearly impossible for the 49ers to stay in the Bay Area. The Bay Area Council opposed the bill because it says the region can't afford to lose the team.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #37
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Ridiculous!

Feinstein unveils legislation to keep 49ers in SF
- Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Thursday, January 11, 2007

(01-11) 09:36 PST WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation today aimed at blocking the 49ers from leaving San Francisco by giving National Football League owners the right to vote on all franchise moves.

The measure, called the Football Fan Protection Act, would require an anti-trust law exemption.

Baseball has a much broader anti-trust exemption and has had only one franchise move, the switch of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C., in the past 25 years. In a similar period, the NFL has had seven franchise moves, Feinstein noted, including the Raiders, who moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and then back again in search of the best stadium deal.

Feinstein, a Democrat who was mayor of San Francisco when Candlestick Park was remodeled for the 49ers, was furious last November when she learned that the team's owners, John and Denise York, had broken off talks with Mayor Gavin Newsom over a new stadium at Candlestick Point and were instead undertaking negotiations with Santa Clara on a new South Bay stadium.

"This legislation is designed to slow the movement of NFL teams and prevent communities from suffering the financial and intangible costs of these moves," Feinstein said. "Our football teams are more than just businesses. They are a common denominator that cuts across class, race and gender to bond the people of a city. They are a key component of a city's culture and identity."

Feinstein, who has brokered renewed stadium talks between the team and Newsom's administration, initially thought of legislation that would block the 49ers from using the words "San Francisco" or "49ers'' in their name if they left the city. However, nothing has been officially proposed.

As an alternative, giving the NFL the right to block a team's transfer could at least give the city the ability to lobby NFL owners to keep the franchise in town.

"We need to address the real costs imposed on communities by franchise movement that we have witnessed in the past 25 years," Feinstein said in offering her Football Fan Protection Act.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:53 PM   #38
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Posted on Wed, Jan. 17, 2007

A's owner describes `village,' urges Fremont to move quickly
By Barry Witt
Mercury News



In his first public appearance before the Fremont City Council, Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff filled in a few crucial details about the ``village'' that would surround a new home for his team, suggesting the neighborhood would feel more like Boston or Baltimore than a typical California tract.

Wolff mostly delivered a broad overview of his development plan at a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night, but he did reveal two key numbers: The retail-residential development surrounding his new baseball stadium would include 2,900 new homes and up to a half-million square feet of ``specialty'' retailers, akin to San Jose's Santana Row. He also urged the city to ``move this along sooner rather than later, if everyone likes it.''

The A's owner and Los Angeles developer has yet to file a development application, but he said his goal was a quick approval process, arguing that the pull of a Major League Baseball team in town should motivate officials to move speedily once he does file.

That request was met with quick criticism from several speakers who told the council that the biggest development project ever proposed for the city of 210,000 residents should require a longer-than-usual review process.

``The potential impacts of a project of this magnitude are enormous, and common sense would tell you, given these potential impacts, if anything, you would slow the process down to make sure that we understand these impacts,'' said Vinton Bacon, a local Sierra Club representative.

The retail space that Wolff is weighing is comparable to the size of Santana Row, which has 555,000 square feet of commercial space, but the housing component would be significantly larger. San Jose has approved 1,600 homes at Santana Row.

Wolff said he expected his development would be a boon to Fremont's tax rolls. He also said it would bring less rush-hour traffic than a 3.5 million-square-foot business park already approved for the land, and that the planned $500 million Cisco Field would be the ``most unique and intimate'' ballpark in the country at about 32,000 seats.

Exactly how he plans to make all that work remains a big unknown, as Wolff has yet to unveil exactly what his ballpark village would look like, how he expects to handle game-day traffic, or how the public cost of serving a new community of 2,900 homes with schools, parks, libraries, and police and fire protection compares to the projected tax revenues his development would yield. Wolff said he would deliver an economic impact report to the city in the near future.

Fremont residents, who filled the 100-seat council chambers, had a mixed reaction to what they've heard so far.

Several A's fans and business leaders said they fully supported any effort to bring the A's to town, while others were skeptical.

Michael Toschak, a small-business owner, said traffic concerns were overblown and that the A's would ``be of benefit to everyone.''

``We're talking about 160 hours worth of traffic,'' Toschak said, estimating that each of the 81 home games the A's would play would mean two hours of traffic problems.

But some residents, including an influential businessman, expressed caution. Bo Magnussen, whose Lexus dealership in the Fremont Auto Mall adjoins the planned ballpark village, told the council he was worried that weekend traffic headed to the ballpark would be a problem for his customers on the most important sales days.

``We have to be very concerned about that,'' said Magnussen, whose industry is the city's biggest sales tax contributor.

Wolff did not deliver any sort of schedule for delivering a plan the city could consider, other than to say he would file his development application after his real estate deal for the land, now controlled by Cisco Systems, closes. He did not say when that might happen.

The council took no action Tuesday night. City Manager Fred Diaz said he plans to return to the council in several weeks with a proposed set of guidelines to steer future discussions with the A's, similar to those adopted this month by Santa Clara, which is in stadium talks with the San Francisco 49ers.

Wolff publicly introduced the stadium plan for the first time in November at a news conference at Cisco's San Jose corporate headquarters, joined by Cisco chief executive John Chambers and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

Wolff has an agreement with Cisco to purchase 143 acres the company controls in the Pacific Commons development west of Interstate 880 and south of Auto Mall Parkway. Cisco holds an option to buy the vacant property, where it has abandoned plans to build a corporate campus.

In prior interviews and a letter to the city in late November, Wolff suggested that the city could end up as the owner of the stadium, but he has not outlined the type of real estate transaction he expects to make that happen.

Wolff has indicated he wants to use a 40-acre piece of property owned by the city at the west end of Auto Mall Parkway as part of his parking solution, which he has said will have 9,000 spaces to serve the ballpark.

The stadium would be the smallest in baseball, with 32,000 to 35,000 seats. Cisco, which has a 30-year, $120 million naming rights sponsorship deal for the ballpark, has promised to make it the most technologically advanced stadium ever built.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #39
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Posted on Sat, Jan. 20, 2007

49ers efforts stall, S.F. official says
By Mike Swift
Mercury News


San Francisco's efforts to keep the 49ers have ``languished,'' the president of the city's board of supervisors says, but he will keep pushing the city's development plans at Hunters Point and Candlestick Point despite the 49ers' stadium plans for Santa Clara.

``This is the only pragmatic way for San Francisco to stay in the game, no pun intended,'' Aaron Peskin said Friday. ``The board of supervisors is moving forward with the project as originally conceived, and if the 49ers want to come home, there'll be a place for them. And if they don't, we'll move forward with a land-use project that is of great importance to San Francisco and is of great importance to the southeast corner of the city.''

Peskin, a political rival of Mayor Gavin Newsom, issued a written statement with Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who represents the Bayview and Hunters Point sections of San Francisco, declaring that the city's 49ers ``efforts have languished'' and offering ``to assert his leadership.'' The two supervisors will introduce a resolution next week to urge that the massive housing and commercial developments planned at Hunters Point and Candlestick Point move forward -- with or without the 49ers.

But Jesse Blout, Newsom's economic development director, said the city had always planned to move forward with plans developed by Lennar, whether an NFL stadium was part of the plan or not.

``The implicit assertion that the (49er) efforts have languished and that the languishing efforts were the result of our lack of effort is humorous,'' Blout said, adding that Newsom has met half a dozen times with 49ers ownership since mid-November to try to interest the team in a stadium at Hunters Point. In early November, the 49ers rejected a stadium plan at nearby Candlestick Point, which was to be the centerpiece of a new urban neighborhood of 6,500 homes.

``I think I would call that proactive,'' Blout said of Newsom's efforts. ``We appreciate the supervisor's efforts to support what we're trying to do, because it's going to take the collective family of policy-makers in San Francisco all pulling in the same direction to keep the 49ers in San Francisco.''

49ers owner John York said after a meeting with Newsom this week that Hunters Point could potentially be a viable backup to the team's plans for a stadium near Great America in Santa Clara.

``It doesn't change anything in terms of our focus on Santa Clara,'' 49ers spokeswoman Lisa Lang said Friday of Peskin's proposal. ``It's really just steps toward getting the Hunters Point site as a viable alternative plan.''
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Old February 7th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #40
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Greater Silicon Valley Development News

Here's a thread for Silicon Valley communities, excluding San Jose. It'll cover all of Santa Clara County, as well as southern San Mateo and Alameda counties.

First up, Santa Clara's 49er stadium plan:

Posted on Wed, Feb. 07, 2007

City moves forward on stadium
COUNCIL WILL PAY FOR ADVICE ON 49ERS PROPOSAL
By Mike Swift
Mercury News


Even as Santa Clara and the San Francisco 49ers begin the grunt work of seeing whether they should jointly finance an $800 million stadium, with the most important financial negotiations expected in April, the first bill is coming due for the city.

In a unanimous vote, the Santa Clara City Council on Tuesday decided to spend $200,000 to hire a cadre of municipal bond attorneys, land-use planners and sports industry experts to guide the city in negotiating with the 49ers for the next six months. The money would come from redevelopment tax revenue, cash that isn't available for the general fund.

City officials say the expense is necessary, because it ensures that Santa Clara has a quality source of information from consultants working for the city, not for the 49ers.

``We are going to be facing a very big decision in six to eight weeks'' when the 49ers are expected to deliver a written stadium finance proposal to the city, Councilwoman Jamie McLeod said. ``We need to make sure we have a good source of reliable information -- not that the 49ers information isn't reliable -- that will allow us to make a good decision.''

With substantive talks between Santa Clara and the 49ers expected to start as soon as next week, Tuesday's vote represented a turning point in Santa Clara's relationship with the team.

Initially, Mayor Patricia Mahan said she had wondered, ``Are we just a pawn in a game? And now it's more serious. I feel like we've had a good first date and now we're going home to meet the parents.''

The $200,000 would not take money from affordable-housing construction or other redevelopment projects, and is consistent with how Santa Clara has previously spent redevelopment money, City Manager Jennifer Sparacino told the council.

A basic premise of the 49ers' proposed stadium deal with Santa Clara is that the project have no net negative impact on the general fund and not cause any tax increase for residents or businesses.

There is no hard and fast rule about redevelopment agencies picking up pre-development costs.

Fremont expects the Oakland A's to reimburse the city for consultants who will advise city officials on the A's stadium plans there. And in San Francisco, developers generally are liable for all pre-development consultants' costs.

Nevertheless, experts say municipal redevelopment agencies commonly pick up pre-development costs, sometimes as an incentive to make a development deal work where it otherwise would not.

``It's very common,'' said John Shirey, executive director of the California Redevelopment Association, a non-profit that represents the state's redevelopment agencies. ``I wouldn't look upon it as the agency paying pre-development costs. There are a lot of things that agencies should do to protect their own interest in any major project, where they would hire outside expertise to do that.''

A principal consideration, Shirey and other experts said, is whether both the city and the developer ultimately contribute financially to the planning process.

Santa Clara and the San Francisco 49ers are considering a two-act negotiation over the proposal to build a new stadium near Great America. Initial meetings between the team and the city will involve basic topics such as traffic and parking.

The meat of the negotiation would begin when the 49ers submit their finance proposal, probably in April.

The 49ers have begun discussions with the owners of parking spaces around the proposed stadium site. The team is looking for about 20,000 spaces to use on game days.

``So far, those talks are going well,'' Larry MacNeil, the 49ers chief financial officer, told the council. ``People like the idea of a new stadium; they're not using their parking on certain days and they also are interested in new revenue opportunities.''
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