Under clear skies and a setting sun behind the mountains towering in the distance, the 49ers Chief Executive – Jed York – and Santa Clara leaders made history at 6:53 p.m. local time, touching off a confetti-filled and champagne-flowing celebration on the future 50-yard line that took parts of 30 years to make occur. Basketball betting lines
“I see a team building with a shovel in one hand and a sword in the other,” a loud and proud SF 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh announced to a crowd of roughly 3,000 fans, team managers and past and present players. Basketball lines
The move some 40 miles south of Candlestick Park sets the stage for the NFL’s debut in Silicon Valley.
York hopes to open the stadium for the 2014 season — with strong motivations for builders to meet the deadline — and bid for the Super Bowl in 2016 and 2017 with hopes of landing one. The $1.2 bill project calls for a 68,500-seat stadium featuring 165 luxury apartments, 9,000 club seats and even a green roof-top deck that adds solar panels and harvested herbs for some on-site food preparation.
“I want this to be a showcase of technology that reinforces the game experience,” York expounded. “And I want it to be a product 100% unique to Northern California.”
The temporary football field, stage and suit-and-tie ball was stuck in the middle of what’s been a huge construction section for months.
In 1997, San Francisco voters approved a ballot measure to build a new facility in the city. The agreement later crumbled, and when previous owner Eddie DeBartolo — York’s uncle — was forced to concede control of the franchise in 2000 following a corruption scandal in Louisiana, momentum for future projects in San Francisco struggled.
The shovels as well signaled the start of the end for the team’s reign on San Francisco’s shores.
The 49ers have played in San Francisco since their establishment in 1946, including the last 41 years at historic Candlestick Park, where the team has won all 5 of its Super Bowl titles.
The whipping winds and cold air from the city’s famous fog made conditions consistently change. That is a long way from the near year-long sunshine — and temperatures that may be 20-25 degrees warmer — down in Santa Clara, where most players and coaches already live.
The aging Candlestick facility is long overdue for a refresh, has some of the worst sightlines of any major pro sports venue and is a logistical nightmare for fans. Two power outages also delayed a Monday night success over Pittsburgh last season.
Candlestick never has not been able to deliver memories, good and bad, from “The Catch” by Dwight Clark to win the 1982 NFC championship and the first quake caught on live TV during pregame warm-ups for Game A few of the 1989 World Series, by coincidence between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics.
All that made the transition difficult for some followers.
“I realize this is a bittersweet day for plenty of people,” York announced. “I wish to make this perfectly clear: We are the San Francisco 49ers, and we’ll always be the San Francisco 49ers.”