SBD/February 1, 2012/Franchises

Some 49ers Fans Upset Over Ticket Prices, Deadline To Purchase Seats In New Stadium

49ers assigned some season-ticket holders much costlier club seats at new venue
Many middle-class 49ers fans who "stuck with the team through its awful stretches now say they are being priced out of the team's forthcoming stadium in Santa Clara," according to a front-page piece by Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The team last month "assigned current holders of some of its best season tickets 9,000 much costlier club seats in the new stadium -- and if they don't buy them by March 16, they lose the seats that in many cases have been in their families for generations." For a spot in the new $1B stadium, fans must "first pay a one-time fee for the rights to a seat -- club seats range from $20,000 to $80,000 each -- then buy the actual tickets, which for the club section run $3,250 to $3,750 each season." Team President & CEO Jed York said that the franchise "decided not to sell seats in the six-figures ... even though the 49ers could have done so in this market." He added that he "expects to sell out the stadium, and that despite the prices expects it to be packed with 'working-class families.'" Rosenberg noted several fans "spoke of disappointment" in the franchise, as they "thought they had a special bond that transcended the normal relationship between business and customer." Fans who "can't afford club seats can put down a $500 refundable deposit and get a shot at the remaining 50,000-plus seats in the stadium after season-ticket holders currently in Candlestick's upper deck and near the end zones get first crack at them later this year." It is "unclear how expensive those seats will be" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/31).

ON THE BALLOT? A SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL editorial states it "seems the fight for the proposed" 49ers stadium "isn't quite over yet." The editorial: "Or that is how a small but well organized group that opposes the project sees it." They "vow to block the project, by ballot or lawsuit, for as long as it takes." It is a "shame the stadium, which most in Santa Clara have already supported in a ballot measure and their elected officials have repeatedly approved, needs to be endlessly debated." The editorial: "Particularly when petitioners, who say they are looking out for the city's financial well-being, are instead creating threats to a very beneficial project and are seeking to spend municipal funds on needless elections" (SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/27 issue).
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