Thursday, October 21, 2010
Reflections on 49ers' stadium efforts
By Mike Sando
This isn't the first time the San Francisco 49ers have pushed back the timetable on a new stadium.
Twelve years ago this week, SportsBusiness Daily noted that the 49ers would announce plans to build a new stadium in time for the 2003 Super Bowl. The team's hope then was that Eddie DeBartolo Jr. would regain control of the team and a new stadium would help the organization sustain its championship ways.
Instead, it's the San Francisco Giants pushing closer to a championship while playing in a stadium other than Candlestick Park. The Giants broke ground on AT&T Park in December 1997, less than a year before publication of that SportsBusiness Daily item about the 49ers' plans. The Giants' ballpark opened in 2000.
The 49ers' current stadium plans called for the team's new home to open in time for the 2014 season, but team president Jed York, nephew of DeBartolo, has pushed back the target date to 2015 amid NFL labor uncertainty. The project hinges on multiple variables, some of them financial, and for that reason many things can change.
Current economic conditions aren't helping, either.