clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bring out your dead Santa Clara: They may be needed on June 8th, 2010

The off-season always brings hope in one fashion or another. Be it the upcoming draft, free agent signings, etc, that goes along with the promise of a season anew full of excitement on what is to come, with a hopeful playoff berth as a payoff for the fans who hold steadfast in their allegiance to a team that they have no real control of outside of of what they take out of their wallets and purses to contribute to the cause. A fan in Bolton Landing, NY pays for NFL Sunday Ticket, buys jerseys online, and paints his basement mancave in Silver and Black (complete with a pool table, bar, and a brand new 55" LED display) because he doesn't own season tickets, and can only attend one game in Oakland, CA once every 3 years, if he is lucky and his wife allows it. He didn't care when they were the Los Angeles Raiders. He doesn't care if they go back to being the Los Angeles Raiders. He is a homegrown Upstate New Yawker who somehow became a Raider fan. His brother? A die hard Miami Dolphin fan, who has a rival basement painted in Dolphin colors. They both make a trip to Miami (winters are harsh in Bolton Landing) to go see both of their teams play each other. They, like a lot of us 49er fans at this moment, have no control of what lies ahead for their beloved teams.

Unless you live in Santa Clara....

Despite all of the speculation of what the coaches, players, and potential additions to the team itself can bring, the cloud over the 49er's future as of this moment is a new stadium. Much debate has been had over whether it is in San Francisco, or in Santa Clara. When I lived in San Francisco, I (along with a few hundred deceased) voted for the then horrid idea of a Stadium\Shopping Mall to replace the aging, decrepit, yet beloved Candlestick Park. $100 million in bonds back in 1997 didn't mean a thing to me as long as it meant the 49ers were still in San Francisco and not in Los Angeles. I should have cared more about a Debartolo shopping mall. One of his malls pretty much ended downtown Palm Springs, CA. The total cost of the project then was speculated around less than $600 million. $600 million to host a Super Bowl in 2003? Jerry Jones spent a few months of a Military budget to host one in a few years. The 2 aforementioned brothers spend more on fan "luxuries" than they do in added taxes if they were to have a stadium built where they would be taxed for it. Of course, having a stadium near where you live to watch a football game is pretty awesome, but it still costs money, and where you place the value of how you spend your money and where is totally based on how you value the expenditure. In other words, your neighbor who is a Raider fan might not be willing to cough up the $$$ if it doesn't benefit them. If I were a Santa Clara resident who isn't a 49er fan, why trust the speculative claims of financial solvency in a new 49er stadium while looking at how the Convention Center hasn't improved that area over 13 years? The bottom line to me is, that area hasn't improved as a destination for anything, and a stadium isn't an answer. If all I have outside of dining at the Marriott is the now defunct Bennigan's, then Santa Clara still never gets it, and the 49ers can't save that.

Well, maybe...

Lisa Lang's next job should be the White House Press Secretary. She would have to fight Amy Trask for it, but Jed York's cherubic chutzpah still has to combat poll data, and Lang is doing her best to spin it. She is doing a great job at doing it, especially during these trying economic times.  The Santa Clara Stadium initiative really isn't about me, or Florida Danny. It's about Santa Clara itself. What really gets me is how the York's spin this. Just 5 more miles into San Jose, where they can really get a stadium built, would mean a possible name change. The San Jose 49ers? That's what they really would be, but nobody would have the guts, especially the York's, to admit that. Now before we get into logistical issues as far as geography, just tell me how much a cab ride costs to San Jose as opposed to San Francisco if you had needed one to your hotel.

Keeping the 49ers just outside of San Jose still has the benefit of holding the San Francisco brand. The York's need that more than than they need a new stadium. It really doesn’t matter to me if they move to Santa Clara. Because that’s what it really is, a move. Just don’t sell out San Jose. The Sharks don’t need a San Francisco brand. Hell, they at least make the playoffs. Just don’t try and explain to me that San Jose is San Francisco, because I know the difference.