In a letter to 49ers fans our beloved and experienced team president Jed York took some time yesterday to address the NFL lockout and the road ahead. Below is the full letter with my own comments in red:
Dear 49ers Fans,
It brings me great pleasure to inform you that today a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached between the National Football League and the NFL Players Association. Many hours of hard and tedious work were put forth by both sides to lay the foundation for the continued growth and prosperity of the game we all love. As a passionate, life-long fan of both the NFL and the 49ers, I thank you for your patience during this process. (Jed York also thanks you for being patience while ticket prices for Niner games went up 7.8 percent for 29,043 seats at the most beautiful and parking friendly stadium in the NFL, Candlestick Park. Oh, and never mind the fact that the 49ers went 6-10 in the NFC Worst last season, down from an 8-8 record in 2009 which is the best the team has finished the last eight seasons so the price increase was warranted. The new CBA York had a hand-in negotiating most likely means the team will share a stadium with the Raiders. Seems our patience has paid off.)
Throughout the offseason, the 49ers have remained deeply committed to building a championship caliber football team. (York is so committed to a ‘championship caliber football’ we have a former number one draft pick leading the 49ers at quarterback. Problem is that quarterback is Alex Smith. York is maybe thinking seventh time’s a charm with Smith) In April, we acquired a draft class full of talented, high-character players that will help us excel both on the field and throughout the Bay Area community. Coach Harbaugh and his staff are eager to begin training camp in order to set the foundation for success this season and beyond. (York is confident he found his head coach this time with Jim Harbaugh, never mind similar things were said about Mike Singletary.)
In addition to a series of open training camp sessions in early August, we are excited about a new fan event we will hold in mid-August. 49ers Fan Fest will feature many of the games and entertainment typically featured during our annual Family Day, but this year the afternoon will be paired with the first open practice held at Candlestick Park in more than 20 years.( Great idea to finally have at least one preseason practice in the city you play in. The real question is will they continue doing this after this season and more importantly if the team moves to the South Bay.) This is a rare opportunity for you to have some fun, see the team workout, and also preview a number of stadium enhancements. (Stadium enhancements? Did they move to a new stadium already? Unless there is a big jumotron, escalators that work and no parking in the mud I doubt these are really enhancements.) Information regarding 49ers Fan Fest and our open training camp sessions will be available on 49ers.com later this week. All of our summer fan events are free.
Football is on. And, the 49ers will be ready to kickoff the regular season against the Seahawks on September 11, 2011.
President & CEO
San Francisco 49ers