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49ERS FEUD: FIRST YOU GET THE MONEY, THEN YOU GET THE POWER
Published January 29, 1998
The "back and forth maneuvering" in the 49ers ownership dispute "is mostly about money," according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE, who report, "Particularly at issue is the soaring cost of the stadium-mall project, which some insiders now put at $600 million to $700 million." But "it's also a fight over who will control the deal," the 49ers or co-Owner Eddie DeBartolo's DeBartolo Entertainment. In addition, Matier & Ross report that "there have already been talks" between the 49ers and S.F. Mayor Willie Brown "about having the city or the state come up with more money" for the project. Brown "still stands firm" on capping the city's contribution at $100M, which was approved by voters last June. Denise DeBartolo York's statement on Tuesday that her board of directors has decided to slow down the stadium deal "until they got a better handle on the costs ... clearly caught team president Carmen Policy off guard." On local radio yesterday, Policy was "trying to put the best face forward on what clearly was a public relations nightmare." Policy said it wasn't his "recollection" that the board voted to hold up the facility, but that it needed some "very, very serious and in-depth attention to some of the numbers before we took the next step in terms of securing interim financing." In light of the media "crush," Policy issued a press release in jest saying he was going to Tierra del Fuego and the South Pole on a three-week expedition study (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/29). REAX: A S.F. CHRONICLE editorial states that even if the DeBartolos "are getting cold feet" on building the stadium/mall complex, "they should live up to the deal they made with San Francisco taxpayers last year" (CHRONICLE, 1/29). In San Jose, Ann Killion: "The feeling last spring that the stadium was a hurry-up, not-quite-thought-out deal seems to have been correct. DeBartolo has moved a little too fast in too many places, and now it seems, he's run himself right into a wall" (MERCURY NEWS, 1/29).