Getting ready for a groundbreaking, 49ers style

I’m leaving for San Diego on Wednesday, so I won’t have a chance to check out the 49ers’ groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday. So I decided to walk by the construction site to see what’s going on. Demolition has been completed, and a large section of the site has been graded and paved. A crew worked through the weekend to put up a big tent, bleachers, and an artificial turf field which I assume is the where the actual field will stand when the stadium is completed.

View from Tasman Drive

In the picture above, a piledriver stands at the left edge. You can see a small patch of green (the field) in the middle, then the bleachers and tent. 49er headquarters are in the background.

View from along San Tomas Aquino Creek trail

Enough bleachers are being brought in to host a high school football game. There also appear to be some auxiliary structures. Fancy groundbreaking, this is.

Back side of the site

Construction equipment sits lined up behind the tent, along with various materials.

A while back I put up a poll asking readers which project would be done first, the 49ers stadium or the A’s ballpark. Clearly, the winner is the football stadium despite its enormous cost. Being first has everything to do with the NFL stepping in and recognizing the opportunity in Santa Clara. MLB? Not so much.

P.S. – If any readers attend the groundbreaking ceremony, I’d love to get pictures to post here.

30 thoughts on “Getting ready for a groundbreaking, 49ers style

  1. How likely is it that the Raiders will be playing here at some point? I imagine the South Bay would embrace four major sports teams, plus the Quakes.

  2. the nfl sure wants to get the raiders onboard. not so sure the niners want to from what i’ve read of the beatwriters over the past few months who think the niners would like this stadium to be theirs and theirs only which i know the majority of niners fans want that too. even as a niners fan myself and very excited about the niners finally getting a new stadium they’ve deserved to play in for decades now, as i feel for the a’s whenever they get their new baseball only park hopefully in sj within the next 4-5 years, i do hope the raiders get a new venue of their own. at this time if the niners do decide to go it alone in this santa clara football stadium, i think the raiders stick at the coliseum as once the a’s do move to sj in 2015 or 16 they get to try to make it more football friendly although don’t know exactly what they could actually do to achieve that.

    i don’t feel like the raiders figure heads want to be the second occupant in this venue which they certainly will be since most everybody views this as the niners stadium. especially if the new venues has red seats, we already see the huge posters of niners players they plan to put up around the stadium, and who knows if they haven’t been brought up before but you gotta think things like building a third locker room would be in the plans sort of how the nyg and nyj have their own seperate locker rooms at metlife along with the opposing team’s.

    i hope the raiders stay in oakland, they maybe the only team left in 5-6 years from now and stay at the coliseum and when the time comes maybe they can build their own football stadium somewhere in oakland too. seems as the politicians and probably most oaklanders view the raiders as more of an “oakland” team now moreso than the other two teams at this time that have made it known publicly that they want out of the city of oakland.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see if local politicians are at the groundbreaking, particularly San Jose’s. I know it’s a Santa Clara project, but the benefits of the stadium will be region wide. I still say when the Niners are firmly in SC that the locals should at least try to make them “ours,” even if York and the NFL say no. No harm, no foul in trying.

  4. @Tony D. I thought you are a Raiders fan?

  5. Has Santa Clara checked with East Rutherford, NJ, Arlington and Irving Tex., Landover Md, etc about the benefits of hosting an NFL football team named for some other city? I’ll bet they’d find the benefits aren’t much.

  6. “Has Santa Clara checked with East Rutherford, NJ, Arlington and Irving Tex., Landover Md, etc about the benefits of hosting an NFL football team named for some other city? I’ll bet they’d find the benefits aren’t much.”
    .
    And yet there’s a story in SFGate this morning about how the departure of the Niners is going to blow a hole in the City’s parks/rec budget.

  7. @Jeffrey- thx for sharing- an end is near…

  8. Is this a Hail Mary or do the A’s know they have the votes?

  9. We will find out soon… I have been told for a while that the A’s have the votes to over turn the rights.

  10. Well just because it’s on the agenda doesn’t mean it’s being voted on. But at the very least it’s nice that they’re finally going to talk about it 3 years after they should have done so…

  11. Susan expanded the article. The A’s are hoping a vote will be taken. This may be it folks, we may finally be at the end of this 3+ year saga…

  12. Note that it is a source from MLB making the announcement- not the A’s- think that BS is a little tired of the gints game- Lew take care of the lawsuit and I will take care of the vote…looking forward to the end and a new beginning…

  13. @eb,
    I’m a huge Raiders fan, but I’m also a big fan of San Jose/Silicon Valley interests, and by “ours” I meant SJ/SV’s. I don’t like the Niners, but I’m all for them being in Santa Clara.
    @Jeffrey,
    Thanks also for that link. Just my opinion, but taken with Selig’s recent comments, I say A’s have the votes and are ready for finality in this played out drama…I think we’re all ready as well.

  14. @Tony D – your comment about making the team “yours” is exactly one of the reasons why East Bay fans want to keep their teams there.

  15. @ Booster – if Oakland / East Bay wants to keep their team there, why don’t they make a concerted effort like what the Niners / SC have done?

  16. @ Anon – I’m not in any way answering for Booster. But I would like to make a comment. Oakland gov’t hasn’t been perfect (see Jerry Brown killing what would have been a great Uptown ballpark site), nor have they always been competent. However, in March of ’02 there was a meeting held by the City Council to discuss a new ballpark with HOK. The astounding thing is that nobody from the A’s management/ownership even appeared at the meeting nor did they publicly voice any support for this plan. In March of ’09 LW sent a letter to Oakland mayor Dellums telling him he’s not interested in working with Oakland. This was in response to a letter Dellums sent to MLB asking that Oakland be given a chance to work out a ballpark plan. I’ll be the first to admit that Oakland politics has been less than stellar but it does take two to tango and there is plenty of blame to go around.

  17. Oh, and just to add to my comments on the ineptitude of Oak gov’t, I neglected to mention Mt. Davis, which obviously turned out to be a huge blunder on Oakland’s part.

  18. @ Columbo – while i agree with you in principle that it takes 2 to tangle, isn’t it interesting that you cited that meeting in 02′ yet now we’re in ’12 and the city of Oakland announces plans for CC, yet none of the prospective tenants (the Raiders, W’s, or A’s) were also in attendance? Could it be that the Oakland’s government is so inept in their decision making that they overlooked consent from those same tenants as well? Could it be that those same city discussion had realistic chances of say VC coming true? Seems that history is more or less repeating itself over and over again, with the City trying to force a path the business owners do not want, just for the sake of appeasing the masses….

  19. No it doesn’t surprise me about the A’s and Warriors. However, I must say that the Raiders have been in talks with Oakland. This I know. My point wasn’t to put blame on any specific entity as I believe it has been one cluster**** after another. And, yes, 10 years is a long time but, in all fairness, Moonbeam changed the landscape, meaning Plan B or C or…. As to Oakland getting consent from the tenants, they are presently in Oakland after all. It would seem to me that the assumption is that these are Oakland teams until further notice. Why wouldn’t Oakland at least expect these Oakland teams to be a part of stadium/arena discussions? I mean, Oakland has been slammed for not doing enough to retain the A’s and you just said something that I have believed for years, i.e. unwilling tenants, especially the A’s.

  20. @ Columbo – i think you’re confusing “unwilling tennants” with “forced tennants”. I do not know of any government entity to force a business to adhere to their “suggestion”, well that is unless you’re in China or North Korea. The impetus to stay is upon the city to prove that the ROI is better there than any other place. Interestingly enough, the bay area’s most iconic and successful sports team, tge Niners, went through a similar ordeal where although a public measure passed, the city could not provide the necessary enticement to stay. If the suggestions by the city aren’t realistic , why would a business want to champion it and deceive their fanbase?

  21. “Forced”? Huh? Have not these 3 teams been in Oakland for decades? I think we’re talking about two separate things. I don’t see how forced can enter this conversation. I’m saying that Oakland is the obvious first place to at least look at building new venues and it appears that, for a long time now, both sides (Oakland & A’s) have been unable to sit down and discuss plans, unwittingly or otherwise. I’m a businessman myself and I believe that owners should make profits but, by your ROI logic, would that not then set the stage for teams to just pick up and leave whenever a better opportunity arises somewhere else? Shouldn’t there be some amount of commitment by both sides to at least attempt to make it work in the city you’re in? You said the city couldn’t entice the team to stay (re 49ers). Equating this to Oakland and the A’s, from what I’ve researched, there hasn’t been much willingness on the team’s part to listen. In other words, the business hasn’t “championed” any suggestions by the city because, from the evidence, I don’t see where they’ve even been on the same page much less had serious meetings together. I mean how can there be two camps that are at polar opposites? Either the thing pencils out or it doesn’t. People believe it can work in Oakland while others doubt it. Has A’s management talked with the people who believe it can work and might have financial scenarios to prove it? Similarly, has Oakland done their due diligence completely and are confident that it could pencil out in Oakland? Is this what the BRC has “researched?” Like the Fed’s interest rate decisions, we don’t know the answer because it has all been behind the scenes. For all I know the BRC could have told Oakland “don’t break your pick” any longer and the Mayor just doesn’t want to break it to east bay fans yet. One last thing… Regardless of your feelings about TR (fair or unfair), why purchase something knowing the limitations in the contract, a la the SF Fairmont Hotel? Again, Oakland has made huge mistakes. I do not deny that but I think both sides deserve blame.

  22. @Anon – If the South Bay wanted the A’s so badly, how come they haven’t gotten their act together in the 16 years since the Coliseum was mangled and people first started speculating on moving them to SJ?

  23. @Columbo – couldn’t have said it any better myself. I’m tired of these pro-SJers acting like past mistakes by the city of Oakland should doom them forever. If that’s the case, the Giants shouldn’t have gotten a new stadium since a public vote failed multiple times.

  24. @ Columbo – If we’re discussing recent events such as the EIR and CC, then absolutely it was forced. How else to explain the city moving ahead on these two projects without any consent by the supposed tenants? Unless the team was somehow owned by the public, it can’t be told where it will go, only where it can’t go. If what ML has stated is true, then LW has done his due diligence in a fact finding folder during his years as a stadium development director for the A’s. Isn’t that enough to convince you that he has looked at sites in Oakland in good faith? Or explored the East Bay altogether (maybe Fremont was a dream Oaklanders pretend didn’t happent)? I think that’s more than I can say then the effort Oakland has done, especially in light of recent hyped up vapor initiatives. And if you’re going by history again, remember several uptown proposals were shot down by Brown while Coliseum North and VC were explored but not deemed appropriate. You’re argument is on the validity of their search. My argument is on forcing a business entity to a site without their consent. Do you think Cupertino could magically tell Apple they have to relocate to a different area in their city limits or else? Of course not, they gave concession and incentives to stay. Interestingly enough, FB is dealing with something that parallels that in Menlo Park and pretty soon the city will lose out on them altogether. You’re basing your arguments on opinions, conjecture, and feelings. I’m trying to look at this historically and objectively from all that has transpired and answer your assertion that because A’s/W’s/Raiders management wasn’t present at a press conference/council meeting, then it means that they city had a plan and was ready to move forward even if it’s tenants disagreed. Ergo, smoke and mirrors with press conferences and emotional council meetings do not make it a real business proposal….

    @ Booster – You need to get your facts straight. #1 – SJ has bought up the necessary land, done the necessary EIR, and also has an agreement in principle to sell it to LW. What has Oakland done again? #2 – The Gnats have a private stadium that was helped by subsidies by SF. Trying to do something similar in Oakland won’t work because 1) it isn’t S.F. and 2) it doesn’t have the corporate support necessary to sustain a private investment.

  25. @ Columbo – interestingly enough, I hadn’t read on that article I noted above for some quite some time, but found a very interesting except in regards to the previous Uptown proposal:

    “But Bobb’s boss, Mayor Jerry Brown, had other plans; he wanted the site for his friends at Forest City Enterprises Inc. a large housing developer. Brown later told reporters that A’s owner Schott was not interested in the Uptown site. And while it’s true that Schott never stepped forward to embrace the plan, it’s also true that Brown put a gag order on it, forbidding anyone in the city from discussing it with the A’s. The mayor also forbade Bobb and Rios from revealing it publicly. The plan’s details came to light only when they were obtained by the Oakland Tribune.”

  26. @Anon – Yeah, but the logic all you pro-SJers use is, “well, since Oakland has been sitting on its hands for so long San Jose should have the team.” Yet, the failure of the city of San Jose to get anything kick started until very recently is pretty much just ignored. Go back and look at reports for the power structure in SJ, and you’ll see that the city was trying to lure the Giants in 1990, and the A’s in 2000. So for the past two plus decades, a small contingent has been trying to get MLB in SJ. Like I said, if San Jose were so hungry for the A’s and baseball, they would’ve gotten their things in order a long time ago. I’m sorry, but when stadium was ruined in ’96 and Schott started talking publicly, somebody in SJ should’ve instantly stepped up and conducted a huge campaign to get them there. It didn’t happen. It did happen in Oakland in 1999, but Selig & Co. shot that down, something that pro-SJers like to ignore. Hell, this isn’t even happening today as those who support bringing the A’s in SJ are often fragmented interests who haven’t been very vocal and who don’t even live in the city, a common problem in Silicon Valley politics. This isn’t to say the city of Oakland hasn’t failed, but it kills me that people want to shut the door on Oakland simply because of past failures (by both the city and the team, don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s only the fault of the city), which SJ has had its share of as well.

  27. @Booster- your completely ignorant of SJ efforts- you mean establishing the site, buying a significant chunk of the property, certifying an EIR, getting 75 business leaders to sign a letter to MLB advocating that he A’s be allowed to move to SJ- ballpark design is available- holding city wide forums over a 2 year period to listenen to neighbor concerns and work towards solutions… Multiple unanimous city council resolutions in support ofbthe A’s relocation… And what has Oakland done? Ignorance is bliss I guess…

    Btw- the failed ballpark in 1992 was not because the city doesn’t want MLB – it’s because taxpayers didn’t want to pay for it- no different than any other California city-

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