49ers President Jed York Likes Mayor Ed Lee, But Is It Enough to Keep The Team in S.F.?

Categories: Politics, Sports
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Some love to hate him
The stylistic differences between former Mayor Gavin Newsom and the current Mayor Ed Lee are too many to list here. Yet the one distinct deviation certainly worth noting is their relationship with 49ers president Jed York.

Lee reportedly met with the 49ers president yesterday in is office, hoping to start a "much better relationship" with York, who -- along with many others -- has had a prickly past with Newsom. Lee did nothing to convince the 49ers president to keep the team here, but at the very least they got along.

It was nothing more than a "get to know you session," and so far York tells reporters he likes what he sees. He especially likes the fact that Lee, who was appointed to finish out Newsom's mayoral term, isn't playing politics.

"He's not beholden to anybody who gave to his campaign and things like that," York tells the Chronicle today.
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But they just love him
Lee also claimed the meeting to be a fresh start to a more positive relationship between York and the mayor's office.

Well, that's great, but does it do anything to help the situation Newsom bequeathed Lee -- the potential loss of the beloved 49ers to Santa Clara?

Political insiders say, yes, it sure does.

Looking back on the drama between Newsom and the 49ers, the main problem was a persistent lack of trust between the two, giving the 49ers all the more reason to skip town.

But with a new guy in charge, it's really possible that we could see a change in that mindset, said Jim Ross, a local political consultant who worked against the stadium proposal in 1997.

"Ed Lee is a guy they can work with," Ross tells SF Weekly. "I think if they figure this relationship is a path to getting a stadium built in San Francisco, then they would switch to San Francisco pretty quickly."

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