49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

Proposition G passed by a healthy margin in San Francisco earlier this week, meaning that the city's plan for a 49ers stadium still has a heartbeat. But it's faint. Sure, a Hunter's Point facility might become a legitimate Plan B should the team's current deal with Santa Clara fall apart. But it's safe to say that Measure G hasn't prompted the Yorks to suddenly shift their attention back to San Francisco.

Remember, the Yorks abandoned San Francisco for Santa Clara in 2006 due to infrastructure concerns they considered deal breakers. The same concerns exist with the new proposal. Both Candlestick Point, the previous stadium site, and Hunter's Point, the site of the current proposed stadium, are essentially peninsulas separated from the highway by narrow neighborhood roads. Any new plan would require massive road improvements to connect the site to Highway 101. It might even require a bridge over the slough that connects Hunter's and Candlestick points. We're talking upwards of billions of dollars being spent on road improvements alone. There's also very little public transit. Meanwhile, the Santa Clara site abounds in transit options - highways, light rail, heavy rail.

Then there's timing. As it stands now, the Yorks want to open their new Santa Clara stadium for the 2012 season. Shifting their focus back to San Francisco would add several years to that timeframe. We're talking "Hillary in 2016!" territory. After all, the proposed stadium would be built on a toxic Superfund site that still must be cleaned up.

Most of all, the Hunter's Point plan is just a plan. The ballot measure was non-binding. The Lennar Corp, the developer in charge of the project, still must sit down with environmental groups, planners and supervisors. They still must come up with a financing plan. And as the plan begins to take a specific shape, it certainly will change. Is a mixed-used development even compatible with a football stadium and all the parking and infrastructure that would need to go with it? It wasn't with the Candlestick project. Why would it at Hunter's Point?

*****
There's been a Jonas sighting! Right tackle Jonas Jennings, whose arrival at OTAs was going to be Wednesday and then Thursday, actually showed up in time for Friday's practice, according to the team. The last two practices have been closed to the media. In fact, only two of the remaining eight OTA practices are open.

-- Matt Barrows

MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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