SAN FRANCISCO — After a drawn-out battle between San Francisco and Santa Clara for the rights to host 49ers’ home games, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spoke to the public on Monday, wielding a white flag as he announced to disheartened local football fans that reclaiming the team would be “a very steep uphill climb.”
In light of the record-breaking $850 million dollar loan Santa Clara officials have managed to muster up for their prospective new football stadium—generously financed by Goldman Sachs and Bank of American, among others—Santa Clara is on the brink of satisfying the $1.02 billion budget predicted for the project. The city would go from modest college suburb to the Bay Area’s bustling epicenter of sports, housing both Northern California football teams as well as the nearby San Jose Sharks.
Taking a financial stance against the proposed plan, dubious analysts speculate that the proceeds expected to come in through ticket and merchandise sales will ultimately fail to pay-off the 25-year loan; local Niner fans, on the other hand, are taking a more social approach, arguing that the 49ers—now in their 65th season—have a history embedded in San Francisco’s cultural fabric.
A few tentative plans to keep the Five-Time Super Bowl Champions in San Francisco are still floating around; one with the teams Bay Area neighbors the Oakland Raiders considering a financial merge to build a joint stadium for the two teams There are also various private groups scrambling to fund a stadium in Hunter’s Point. Nonetheless, as Mayor Lee admitted, “the 49ers are committed to building a stadium in Santa Clara,” and unless that decision miraculously falls through, Bay Area fans could end tailgating 45 minutes south of San Francisco.