Adieu, 49ers: San Francisco, Team to File for Divorce

Categories: Business, Sports
Kezar Stadium old photo.jpg
For those with Kezar Stadium memories, losing the 49ers hurts. So does knowing the city can no longer afford the team.
Following that rarest of things -- a Super Bowl that came down to the final snap -- New England Patriots fans will be endlessly playing over the events in their minds. If only that ball had fallen one foot closer to Rob Gronkowski. If only Gronkowski hadn't momentarily paused. If, if, if. 

Fans of the San Francisco 49ers were thinking "if, if, if" throughout the entire game. If only for so many factors, that could have been our team out there. Naturally, fans start to dream about next year and the year after that. But, in the 49ers' case, this becomes awkward. When imagining a future championship, should we dream of a victory parade through San Francisco, or Santa Clara -- where the team is all but certainly headed -- or both?  When one's sporting fantasies begin to resemble a divorced family's holiday logistics, you've reached an uncomfortable place.

What's most uncomfortable is not just that San Franciscans will be kissing their team goodbye -- but that this is the right thing to do.

Yes, in 1997, the city's voters approved $100 million in bond money to build a new 49ers stadium. This money hasn't vanished, even though the 49ers soon will. But beyond locals' pride and more than half a century of tradition, there aren't many solid arguments to keep the team in this city. Emotional arguments aren't invalid -- but they carry less weight when the city may grow insolvent.

No political leader we've spoken to could produce any numbers justifying keeping the 49ers in town, let alone doling out hefty quantities of money to do so. Erstwhile Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to treat the team's owners like they were infected with chlamydia remains one more bizarre element of his administration. But it's hard to imagine a deal where the Niners could have been made to stay without scads of public money being shelled out, regardless of the relationship between the mayor and team ownership.

If the team wants hefty public financing to erect a state-of-the art stadium in a vast parking lot and charge fans astonishing sums of money, it can do so. Just not here.

It'll be sad to see the team up and leave San Francisco -- but, it warrants mentioning, eight other teams play outside of their home cities, including both Super Bowl participants. (The list: The New York Giants and Jets play in East Rutherford N.J.; The Washington Redskins play in Landover, Md.; The Dallas Cowboys play in Arlington, Texas; The Miami Dolphins' new stadium is actually in Miami Gardens; The Buffalo Bills are, for now, located in Orchard Park, N.Y.; The New England Patriots call Foxborough, Mass. home; and the Phoenix Cardinals are based in Glendale, Ariz.).

The 49ers' corporate headquarters are already located in Santa Clara. They practice there. Many of the team's players and personnel already live there. At most, they were in San Francisco one day a week. Like the aforementioned divorce, we could see where this one was going. It's sad and awkward, because divorces are sad and awkward. They're even keeping our name.

So long, 49ers. We do get visitation rights on weekends. But it's going to cost us an arm and a leg.

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Larry David
Larry David

Ha! parking & tailgating in Santa Clara will be limited at best...Because there is NO parking, and non-existing transit...Wait & see, you thought the Old Gray Girl was bad (the Stick), you ain't seen nothin yet! Anyway there is a Lawsuit Pending in this matter, we might all be whistling past the graveyard.

And 49er Faithful I 100% agree with you!

49er Faithful
49er Faithful

I hate non-native San Franciscans voicing their opinion in this matter. I truly believe you should not be allowed to vote on this matter if you were not born and raised in this city. The 49ers leaving the city for Santa Clara will be a terrible event. Screw you Jed York his Mom and that idiot doctor.

Djcarpetbagger
Djcarpetbagger

 Don't blame the Niners, they tried It's San Francisco's Idiotic leadership. They would rather have Gay marriages, Sex Changes and whatever so called progressive Horseshit they can come up with rather than keep very long tradition of the Forty Niners.I work in San Francisco for 30 years from 1970 to 2000. I don't even recognize it now, gone to hell in a hand basket.

vacafrita
vacafrita

Sad to see them go, but it's the right move.  Most of their fanbase is from the Peninsula and South Bay, and unlike baseball and basketball, football culture involves tailgating, which requires wide open parking lots that the City just doesn't have.  That's the reason so many football teams don't play in their namesake city.  Let Santa Clara pay for a huge new building that will be used 10 times a year for what will always be the SAN FRANCISCO 49ers.

But when the Niners win the Super Bowl, the parade better be in SF.  

909Jeff
909Jeff

The Cleveland Browns Stadium has no real parking lot.   A majority of the fans park in the municipal lots downtown (Which makes money for the city) and then come game time everyone walks (Bar crawls) down to the stadium for the game. They let their people tailgate in the public lots too... I'm sure that wouldn't happen in San Francisco though.  Its literally a party downtown every sunday and yes they do it in the snow too. 

Larry David
Larry David

Santa Clara has No downtown, the stadium site is only 17 acres big, and sits between 2 neighborhoods...And tailgating is important to the 49ers fanbase, there definitely will be much of that in Santa Clara

Richard Hesse
Richard Hesse

Eh let 'em leave. The economics of sports franchises never work out. It's just a distraction for the masses.

Redandgold4ever
Redandgold4ever

Sorry, misclicked on the previous post...

Anyway, maybe if the idiotic "leadership" in SF showed as much concern about keeping a storied sports franchise in their city as they did with legalizing gay marriage, banning happy meals, providing sanctuary to criminals and banning circumcisions, they would be able to keep the Niners in the city.  With their whacked sense of priority, we just lost a great team and a chance to host the Superbowl and bring in huge revenue to the city.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Let them leave.  I don't want my tax dollars being spent on someone's overpriced entertainment.

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