The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Great America Operator Opposes 49ers' Move - Again

Phillip Matier & Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle

If the San Francisco 49ers want to move to Santa Clara, they may have to buy the Great America amusement park as well. Cedar Fair Corp., which operates Great America - and whose main parking lot the Niners have been eyeing for their dream stadium - said Tuesday that it opposes the $853 million project. The company said that once before, then backed off its opposition. This time, however, it's official. Cedar Fair said it has concluded, after months of study, that the 49ers' plan to build a 68,000-seat stadium east of Highway 101 (right) won't work for Great America because of the loss of parking, traffic disruptions and the overall negative impact on theme park customers. "It places the future operations of Great America in jeopardy," the company said in a statement late Tuesday. Officials in Santa Clara, which collects $5.3 million a year in revenue from Great America, say they consider Cedar Fair's support of the stadium essential for the deal to go forward. The company's announcement came as news to City Hall, where officials said Cedar Fair was continuing to negotiate with Santa Clara as late as Tuesday. "Cedar Fair would need to cooperate with the proposal," Deputy City Manager Carol McCarthy said. "The land is leased to them."

The question is whether Cedar Fair's latest pronouncement is meant as a deal killer, or just the start of intensive negotiations to force the 49ers to buy the amusement park, whose assessed value last year was $114 million. Cedar Fair wasn't doing much to clear up the question - company representatives declined to elaborate on their announcement. Team spokeswoman Lisa Lang noted that Cedar Fair has been "flip-flopping" on the stadium - first backing the idea, then saying it was against it, then taking a neutral stance before going negative again - and that the company's real goal may be to sell Great America. In fact, Lang said, company officials broached the subject with the Niners during recent negotiations. Team officials believe that by announcing its opposition to the stadium deal, Cedar Fair may be looking to drive a harder bargain. The 49ers, desperate to escape Candlestick Point by the 2012 season, aren't ruling out a Great America purchase.

"It's not how we approached this project originally, but if it's something we need to consider to move this project forward, we will consider it," Lang said. Lang said the team is also willing to consider other options - including moving the stadium to a 17-acre parking lot just east of the current proposed site. Great America uses that lot for overflow parking. That plan, however, is less attractive to the Niners because the stadium and its parking lot would be separated, forcing fans to walk farther to get to their seats. "We don't feel it creates as much of an entertainment district," Lang said. Bottom line, Lang says: "There are a number of site configurations (Cedar Fair) could look at if they are serious about wanting to go forward with the project."But she said the company has been sending "litigators" rather than planners to recent meetings.

"From our perspective, it's just flip-flopping noise we will continue to hear as we negotiate with them, and you have to recognize that for what it is," Lang said.

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