Apr 19, 2012, 3:43 PM EDT
The politics phase is over, and now the hyperbole phase has begun: they’re officially breaking ground on a new 68,500 seat stadium for the 49ers today (live streaming here), with officials hoping it will be ready in time for the 2014 season opener. But to find it, you’ll have to scroll south on Google Earth about 35 miles, to Santa Clara. Although their training facility has been there for years, the Niners will now be officially located in Silicon Valley when this baby is completed.
49ers’ officials say the new Santa Clara stadium is in a better location than Candlestick Park in San Francisco in order to deal with the rush of game day traffic. Especially on rainy days, when getting to the Stick parking lot is a muddy mess.
They are quick to point out that the new Santa Clara stadium will have 11 freeway entry points, compared to Candlestick’s four.
“Fans would likely drive into the area by using Hwy 237 or Hwy 101 and Great America Pkwy, Tasman Avenue, Lafayette, Montague Expressway would all likely get hit hard with game day traffic,” NBC Bay Area traffic reporter Mike Inoyue said. “Local streets would be congested but even more of a concern might be where they will park.”
The 49ers say the new Santa Clara stadium will have more than double the parking that Candlestick has.
All of this is true. But what they don’t tell you is what a traffic nightmare it is right now on that portion of the Peninsula. Conditions on 101, 280 and surrounding roads can be brutal at rush hour, without the 49ers. But the team only plays on Sundays, you say? New stadiums, my friend, attract new businesses. New businesses attract people, seven days a week. San Jose Mercury News:
The Great America amusement park, which had been looking to sell before the stadium became a done deal, signed a long-term lease extension and is building a new roller-coaster. Across the street Joe Montana is the front-man for a planned luxury hotel, restaurant and bar. Separately, officials are reviving talks with a developer interested in building bars, restaurants and dancing spots near the stadium. The Hilton Hotel is considering an expansion. Pro shops and memorabilia stores are expected to pop up to join a new 49ers hall of fame and museum.
Within a block already are the 300,000-square-foot Convention Center, an 18-hole golf course, 2,800 hotel rooms, a massive soccer park, the 49ers training facility, some restaurants and creek-side trails popular with the local tech workers.
Oh, and let’s not forget a 20-seat movie theater complex, a Community College, and Yahoo’s corporate headquarters … all just down the street from the stadium site. Looks like my regular Friday evening Jamba Juice/movie excursion is going to be a thing of the past.
The 49ers have no current plans to change their name, by the way.
And … my God, I just thought of this … what’s going to happen when a horde of tourists descend on Planet Snoopy?
- So long folks, it’s time for me to take off 18
- Man wins full marathon while pushing his daughter in a baby stroller (video) 14
- Lock and load, it’s youth baseball fundraising time: league raffling off AR-15 rifle (video) 8
- Sim Bhullar is a large basketball player, and I mean it. Anybody want a peanut? 0
- What’s with kids and all these death-defying stunts? 674
- Nothing to see here…just a 70-yard field goal by a high-schooler (video) 3
- None found
- Oxbow upsets Orb in Preakness
- PBT Pacers top Knicks, punch ticket to conf. finals
- MST: Carpenter wins pole for 97th Indianapolis 500
- PHT: Couture strikes in OT, lifting Sharks in Game 3
- PHT: Red Wings even up series with Blackhawks
- PBT: Pacers may not have Hill for Game 6
- PHT: No surgery needed for Staal after brutal hit
- Play Video: Oxbow wins Preakness Stakes, Orb finishes fourth
- Play Video: I'll Have Another wins the Preakness
- Play Video: Konig takes Stage 7, van Garderen retains overall lead
- Play Video: Gary Stevens wins third Preakness
- Play Video: Shackleford holds off Animal Kingdom
- Play Video: Lukas: 'I get paid to spoil dreams'