California Cities Court NFL Teams with Stadium Plans
- Aug 25, 2011
As National Football League teams get ready to kick off the 2011 season, competition of a different sort is heating up in California. No fewer than four cities in the Golden State have plans in the pipeline for new stadiums and related projects intended to lure pro football teams.
Santa Clara’s proposal for a $1 billion stadium that would host the San Francisco 49ers appears to be the farthest along. Scheduled for a 2013 construction start, the venue would be near the Great America amusement park. In a recent article on MercuryNews.com, 49ers president & CEO Jed York said that the team would decline an offer from the Oakland Raiders to share the cost of a stadium that would be jointly owned by the teams. The NFL is encouraging ventures similar to that recently pulled off by the New York Giants and New York Jets, which teamed up to build a new $1.6 billion stadium west of New York City in East Rutherford, N.J. On Aug. 23 the teams disclosed that MetLife has acquired naming rights for the year-old stadium.
Now that the 49ers have spurned the Raiders’ offer, the Oakland franchise appears to be turning its attention to its own venue. Local authorities are proposing to revitalize the area around O.co Coliseum, the Raiders’ 45-year-old home, by developing Oakland Live, a mixed-use destination that would include hotels, restaurant, retail and a convention center. The Raiders are also in contention to get their own stadium, the Mercury.News.com reported.
For their part, two other California cities are attempting to entice their former pro football teams to return. On August 9, the Los Angeles City Council approved a memorandum of understanding that would bring the proposed $1.2 billion Farmers Field stadium to Downtown Los Angeles near Staples Center. That plan targets the Raiders, which played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994. Meanwhile, San Francisco is keeping the door open for the 49ers to stay in the city and play in a new venue that could be part of the planned redevelopment of Candlestick Point and the Hunters Point shipyard.