The announcement came Monday from the lips of Michael Cohen, who heads Mayor Gavin Newsom's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and who for years has been the man in charge of guiding the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard towards redevelopment and reuse. A new 49ers' stadium was once the centerpiece of a revitalized shipyard; now, with every sign pointing towards the team passing on playing eight NFL games a year on a toxic waste dump, city officials are suggesting that it's not so much a big deal after all.
Newsom has been making similar comments for over a year: last June, he told reporters that if the 49ers leave, the city would build housing where the stadium was to be, which would lead to more permanent jobs and more permanent dollars in the city's southeastern section. Then last week, while saying that he hopes the team won't leave -- and probably won't, because Santa Clara has a fat chance of finding someone dumb enough to finance a $500 million stadium construction loan -- he said essentially what Cohen said: that having eight home games a year is actually a financial deterrent, not an enhancement for the city.
Thusly: we have a team saying "Fuck you, we're leaving," and a city saying, "Fuck you, go ahead," and a financial market saying, "We don't have any money." Fun times.
So at this point, what's keeping the 49ers at Candlestick? For one, a lease. They're legally bound to playing there for a while longer at least. For two, there's nowhere else to go. It's unlikely that the 49ers would fall all over themselves to play at the Oakland Coliseum, much less at Cal or Stanford.
Which leaves Kezar. How 'bout it, team? A farewell throwback game at the ole stomping grounds?