Santa Clara Citizens to Vote Tuesday on 49ers Stadium

The time has come as to whether or not your San Francisco 49ers will become the Santa Clara 49ers, Santa Clara 49ers of San Francisco, San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara,  Bay Area 49ers or some other moniker.  Citizens of Santa Clara County will vote yes or no on Tuesday, June 8 to use public funding to help build a new stadium for the 49ers.  The 49ers have said that if Measure J is approved and they move to the South Bay the team name will remain the San Francisco 49ers.  That is not a for sure thing as I would expect the city of San Francisco to put up a fight for the right to use San Francisco in your name if you are not within city limits.  The more important thing however is it seems Santa Clara voters will approve the measure if recent polling released on May 25 turns out correct:   56% of likely voters indicated they were certain to vote yes on Measure J, while 40% were certain to vote no.

It was hard to write that last sentence but with the margin so big you cannot ignore the facts.  I am hoping for a miracle and a change of minds from Santa Clara voters from when the poll was taken to when they actually go to vote.  Even if the measure passes there is still hope.  Remember in 1997 San Francisco voted for a stadium bond plan to build a stadium for the 49ers at Candlestick Point.  Using the same approved bond the City has incorporated a stadium in their plans at Hunters Point not far from Candlestick Point.  The environmental impact report was narrowly approved on June 3 by San Francisco’s planning and redevelopment commissions which means construct was given the green light.  Where there is still hope is that the site can hold-off on building the stadium until 2017.  Now I don’t want to wait until then to see a 49ers new stadium but with almost certain cost overruns of building the stadium Santa Clara citizens will carry the burden of any those overruns on top of the $330 million they are already contributing.  The $330 million is going to be paid back with a ticket tax and the sale of stadium naming rights (the Cowboys, Giants and Jets have yet to find a company for their naming rights of new stadiums), personal seat licenses (these could run into the thousands) and concession rights.

With the Hunters Point plan being able to include a new 49ers stadium in San Francisco until 2017 if the stadium in Santa Clara is approved and falls apart because of financial issues San Francisco can step right in.  The SF plan would be privately financed and would not require a public vote because the bond was already approved in 1997.  49ers President Jed York however has said that he would consider Oakland as the next option if Santa Clara fails for any reason.  York is a man who clearly in his mind puts business over history and tradition of the 49ers.

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