SBD/Issue 64/Facilities & Venues

Ed Roski Considers 49ers, Raiders Candidates For L.A. Stadium

Roski Names 49ers, Raiders Among Seven
Teams That Could Move Into Industry Stadium
Majestic Realty Chair & CEO Ed Roski has named the 49ers and Raiders  "among seven teams he views as candidates to move" to his proposed stadium in City of Industry, California, if he "buys a major stake in the club," according to a front-page piece by Cote & FitzGerald for the S.F. CHRONICLE. Roski would demand a "controlling stake in the team before he starts construction," but 49ers co-Owners John York and Denise DeBartolo York "seem unwilling to sell." 49ers President Jed York: "We don't want to move to L.A. Our focus is on Santa Clara and on putting a stadium there." Former 49ers President Carmen Policy added, "I don't think the league would let the 49ers leave the Bay Area. It's too important of a market for them." NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello said that the league is "not currently considering a 49ers move" to the L.A. area. Aiello: "It's not a question we're looking at now." But Cote & FitzGerald noted while Jed York said that he is "'very confident' that the 49ers will have a new stadium in Santa Clara in time for the 2014 season, major crossroads are approaching, including a make-or-break vote there and a pivotal battle over a proposed bridge" at Candlestick Park that is "essential to the team's demand for smooth game-day access." Even if the team overcomes the obstacles in Santa Clara, S.F. officials "question whether financing will come through for the Niners." S.F. Office of Economic & Workforce Development Dir Michael Cohen: "We believe there is a significant amount of uncertainty that they can finance this even if they win the election. That's the second crossroads." The 49ers have "already looked at about a dozen sites across the Bay Area," and 49ers VP/Communications Lisa Lang said that those options "would be re-evaluated if Santa Clara falls through" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/13). In San Jose, Howard Mintz reported a Santa Clara-based community group backed by the 49ers Friday "formally submitted a proposed initiative for the June ballot to build" the 68,500-seat, $937M stadium in the city. The initiative "outlines the arguments in favor of voters approving" the stadium (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/12).

NOT FIT TO BE TOGETHER: In S.F., Ray Ratto wrote the NFL's "powers that be ... still think the 49ers and Raiders should share a new stadium," which is the "perfect solution if you know nothing about the two teams, the Bay Area or the fan bases." There are "reasons why the shared stadium is a good idea, but all of them are money-related," and the reasons "why it won't happen are more powerful." Neither team "wants to be perceived as the tenant of the other, and the location of the stadium would do exactly that." Also, neither team "wants to have the stadium farther from its fan base, which is why Santa Clara works to the 49ers' benefit but not to the Raiders," and "anywhere in the East Bay works to the Raiders' benefit but not the 49ers." Ratto noted Raiders' ownership situation also will be "in flux sooner rather than later," and new Raiders investors "may want to look toward Los Angeles at some future date." The Raiders "in their private moments" also "want the 49ers to lose the election, get angry at being scorned and look at Los Angeles, and the 49ers want the Raiders to leave for L.A. now" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/13).

EXPLAINING NEED FOR PUBLIC MONEY: Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani wrote a letter to the editor in the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE in response to his comments Thursday that a downtown San Diego stadium would require public funding. Fabiani wrote it is "important for people to understand that a stadium downtown would require a funding plan very different from the plan they've been hearing about for the past several years." The downtown San Diego site currently being considered is "just over 10 acres -- making it the smallest stadium site" in the NFL -- and as a result, the site will "accommodate, at most, the stadium, without any opportunity for the related development to help pay for the stadium." For that reason, the "successful development of a stadium at the downtown site will require sources of funding other than what might come from a related development, in addition to a $250-300[M] investment by the Chargers and the NFL." But Fabiani wrote it "would be a mistake for anyone to cast this as a debate between taxpayer money vs. no taxpayer money," as taxpayer money is "going to be spent no matter what." Those who "say they are in favor of the status quo -- those who say that the Chargers should simply stay in Qualcomm Stadium and play out their lease through the year 2020 -- are in fact advocating the spending of more than $300[M] in taxpayer money between now and then just to keep the aging stadium operating" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/12).

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