John York, Jed York, Sen. Dianne Feinstein
The owners of the San Francisco 49ers selected Santa Clara over San Francisco because public money was pledged by the City of Santa Clara and no such offer was made by the City of San Francisco, according to an professional source associated with the San Francisco 49ers.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that both John York and his son, Jed York, now team president, made the selection of Santa Clara over San Francisco solely for financial reasons, and not the public reason that they gave regarding parking and transportation access when they announced San Francisco was their second choice for a stadium site.
The package deal being offered by Santa Clara amounts to close to $500 million, according to the source. The City of San Francisco offered no public money to the team, but instead private developer Lennar Corp. pledged $100 million to build the pad and infrastructure for the 49ers at the former Hunters Point Navy site in San Francisco.
“It was a no-brainer for the York family to accept the Santa Clara offer, which covers nearly half the cost of a new stadium versus the $100 million offer that came from Lennar,” according to the source. “The choice was never about parking and traffic access in San Francisco, it was purely a financial decision by the York family because they would get greater benefit from public money in Santa Clara.”
The York family, listed in business publications as having substantially more than $1 billion in assets, has come under criticism for how it has presented information to the public both in San Francisco and in Santa Clara in its attempt to build a new stadium for the franchise.
This past week the Santa Clara City election officials announced that the June ballot measure to approve the funding plan for the 49ers would be entitled ‘Measure J”.
The Santa Clara stadium plan has also been criticized for its lack of information regarding parking and traffic access. The team has pledged to forgo Monday Night Football unless it is able to roundup enough. Lastly, there is the possibility that the Oakland Raiders will also share the stadium, bringing rowdy Raiders fans to Santa Clara and doubling the use of the stadium, creating weekend traffic gridlock and parking issues.
Also, the team recently raised its season ticket prices for the upcoming season as much as 315 percent. Tickets that were $71 a seat last year will now be $295 a seat this season. This move drew significant criticism from season ticket holders and raises the question of whether regular fans will be priced out of a new stadium that will require seat licenses in the thousands of dollars and individual ticked prices of $295 a seat or more.
Finally, the team may not have a lot to show to fans anyway. The mysterious departure/firing of the team’s general manager Scot McCloughan by the York family has left next season’s draft of new players in doubt. The San Jose Mercury News sports mogul Tim Kawakami says the next four years of the team could be in jeopardy.