It pains me deeply to say this, but if the York family can’t get their act together on a new stadium locally, they will most likely move the franchise to Los Angeles. The NFL has obviously wanted a football team back in LA since the Raiders & Rams moved over a decade ago, and a failing franchise owned by the Yorks would make the most sense.
I hate the thought of this but allowing the team to move, would allow a power owner (I.E. Larry Ellison) to buy into the NFL as an expansion team in a manner similar to the current Cleveland Browns. With Bryant Young’s retirement, the existing 49er team has very few ties to the lore and history of the 49er teams of yore. Allowing a fresh start, with an Ellison run organization would help the fan base regain the faith that the Yorks have exploited since Eddie DeBartolo was forced out in the late 90′s.
With the Yorks using the prospect of a Santa Clara stadium as leverage againt San Francisco, they have pried a great deal of federal money devoted to cleaning up the former naval land at the prospective new stadium location at Hunter’s Point , and if the Yorks were allowed to leave, even more money would be poured into the area in hopes of landing an Olympic bid in the future. This would mean the infrastructure that is needed (public transit, freeway access, etc.) could be built and make it a more enticing area for developers, and maybe even a new arena so the Golden State Warriors could return to their former San Francisco home.
This may be a painful thought to stomach, and in the short run frustrating and hurtful to 49er fans; but the NFL is a organization that claims to have vision, and their vision could right the wrongs committed by the current 49er ownership. Long live the San Francisco 49ers, and good riddance the Youngstown mafia and their strong arming the 49er faithful.