SBD/February 1, 2011/Facilities

Jed York Tasked With Creating New Tech-Savvy Stadium For 49ers

York wants to design the NFL's smartest stadium, not the biggest or most expensive
49ers President & CEO Jed York "has the challenge of coming up with a state-of-the-art stadium design for perhaps the world's most technologically discerning fan base -- in the heart of the Silicon Valley," according to Sam Farmer of the L.A. TIMES. While "heaping praise on Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his palatial new stadium -- one that features a colossal high-definition video screen -- York said that's not his vision for a 49ers stadium." York: "Everything for us is micro, not macro. In the Silicon Valley, we want to know: What you can do on your smartphone? Our approach is, why build a $50-million scoreboard as opposed to enabling 65,000 people to have scoreboards in their hands that are interactive?" Farmer noted NFL stadiums in the future will likely include "sufficient wireless bandwidth so everyone in the stadium can stream video of the game." In addition, they will boast "in-stadium cameras allowing fans to pick their desired feeds," and "self-contained entertainment centers" at each seat. The NFL "needs to continually enhance its in-stadium experience because football has become such a phenomenal TV game," and for York, "that means thinking big while thinking smaller." He said, "The way we've approached it is we've said we're not going to be the biggest stadium and we're not going to be the most expensive stadium. But we're going to be the smartest stadium" (L.A. TIMES, 1/31).

A SAN FRANCISCO TREAT? In S.F., John Cote reported Mayor Ed Lee is "not giving up on the 49ers leaving the city for Santa Clara just yet, and he wants to get a sense of what's going on in Jed York's head." Lee did "not promise he can persuade the team to accept a deal on the table here for $100 million from a private developer to build a new stadium at a redeveloped Hunters Point shipyard." He "didn't even say he could restart negotiations." But he "wants to talk with York." Lee: "I think there have got to be other discussions with Mr. York and his team about their approach to that area." A 49ers official said York and Lee are trying to plan a meeting "sometime soon" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/31).
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