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Monday, February 16, 2009

The City of Industry 49ers? Don't Laugh -- The Team has Done Stranger Things (See: Smith, Alex)

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge Both of these teams have been bandied about as potential L.A. franchises
  • Both of these teams have been bandied about as potential L.A. franchises
Most San Franciscans know City of Industry as the oddly named Los Angeles suburb where we send the monthly checks for our Capital One cards. But, in the near future, we may be sending them something else -- the 49ers.

If anyone spat a mouthful of coffee on the monitor just now, we're sorry (but not legally responsible for damages). This is all far, far from certain. And yet, it's also far, far from crazy.

Very keen-eyed readers of local papers may have noticed last week that a proposed $800 million privately funded stadium in City of Industry was approved by the city's planning commission; pending a final approval by the city later this month developer Majestic Real Estate will begin officially contacting NFL teams it hopes to wrench free and lure to the Land of Chivas and Honey that is the L.A. media market.

Meanwhile, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has been pushing the notion of both the 49ers and Oakland Raiders playing in the same stadium, possibly the one the Niners are angling for for in Santa Clara County. Which is more far-fetched: The York family, Al Davis, and the league cooperating or Santa Clara willingly spending hundreds of millions of dollars to benefit multi-millionaire football owners and a billion-dollar league?

Is it any more outlandish than either team up and moving to L.A., where the possibility of a privately funded stadium awaits? When the Chronicle's Nancy Gay recently asked Goodell if he was concerned about either of the Bay Area teams fleeing south, this was his answer:

"We're worried about the California market in general. If you look at our stadium situations -- San Diego is trying to address (its) stadium situation, San Francisco, the Oakland Raiders ... I think collectively we have to try to address these matters on a statewide level as well as in the local communities."

That was a "yes" or "no" question. I counted more than 50 words there, and there's still no answer. Meanwhile, local papers haven't given much space to the machinations in City of Industry, but SoCal papers sure have. In fact, the Los Angeles Times recently postulated just what franchises might jump ship and head for sunnier climes in City of Industry.

Their list: The San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams (revenge!), and the New Orleans Saints -- in addition to the Raiders and Niners.

It's a sticky subject for longtime fans of both Bay Area teams -- but if the cost of keeping the franchises local  is hundreds of millions of public dollars, I can only paraphrase Niners Coach Mike Singletary's now-famous rant: "Can't coach them. Can't win with them. Can't afford them. Can't do it."

Photo   |   Monica's Dad
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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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