Update on the 49ers Stadium Vote

Santa Clara voters hit the polls today to vote on a number of issues, one of which is to give a lease for stadium development for the billion dollar stadium project to move the San Francisco 49ers out of Candlestick Park to a newly proposed stadium site in Santa Clara (about 45 minutes away from San Francisco).  Earlier this week Jed York, the owner of the 49ers had promised that the team would stay in the Bay Area no matter what the outcome of the vote, though other news sites were reporting the possibility of a 49ers move to another location.  The stadium, which is estimated to cost around $937 million dollars is in need of a site, and currently a large lot is trying to be made available next to the Great America theme park in Santa Clara.  If the deal passes, the 49ers will be allowed to lease this site, and will be allowed to move forward on the construction of the new stadium.  From a personal standpoint, I have ridden the lightrail from San Jose to Great America, and it was a rather convenient trip, and seems to be a rather smart location to build a stadium in the cramped Bay Area.  There is abundant parking, transportation, and there should be very little overlap between Great America and the new stadium as they operate mostly during different seasons.  The plan has taken some criticism from locals, who have called the economic impact analysis provided by the team to be too optimistic, and that the city really can not afford to give the team $114 million dollar to build a new stadium (though a good chunk of this money is coming directly from hotel taxes) in the midst of an ongoing economic crisis in California.

The newest results from vote counts are showing the stadium site lease proposal is currently passing with about 66% of votes voting in favor.  There are still 48 out of 58 precincts which need to be report, but polls are reporting that this proposal will go through, and the 49ers will be one step closer to a new stadium.  I will admit that as a 49ers fan I am happy to see a new stadium, but at the same time the economic impact analysis which have been provided by the team are way too optimistic.  Of course this is nothing new, teams always over-estimate, and researchers continuously point that there is really little to no true economic impact.

* A quick Edit – The measure passed.  The 49ers also are now believing that the NFL will help finance part of the stadium under a new collective bargaining agreement.  Makes me wonder when an owner is banking on a CBA which doesn’t even exist at the moment…


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