It was and still remains the closest any NFL team has ever come (geographically) to hosting a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Now it appears that a “Yes” vote on Measure J would give the 49ers the very realistic chance to do Super Bowl XIX one better come 2014. Luring the Super Bowl had always been a key selling point of the proposed 49ers' Santa Clara Stadium, but up until now, many may have assumed that it was merely wild speculation.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lent great credence to the prospect of a South Bay Super Bowl last Thursday, when he spoke at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara before a gathering of team and city officials and local high-ranking industry executives representing many of the 49ers' industry partners.
Despite numerous verified reports that Goodell was heavily in favor of a shared stadium between the 49ers and Oakland Raiders—allegedly to be located at the current site of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum—Goodell gave the project what could only be described as a ringing endorsement.
Goodell described the $927 million stadium as a “great opportunity,” and said he was confident the Super Bowl Advisory Committee would agree to bring the Super Bowl to Santa Clara with the addition of a new state-of-the-art stadium.
Goodell called Santa Clara a “terrific community” in which to hold the Super Bowl, and spoke to all the publicity, economic boosts, and opportunities a Super Bowl generates. He cited last year’s Super Bowl in Miami as having brought nearly $500 million dollars of “economic impact” to the region.
The commissioner’s endorsement was a major boon to the project, just over a month before Measure J is set to hit the Santa Clara city ballot on June 8.
While projections about the true financial implications of the stadium for Santa Clara and the Silicon Valley are highly speculative, the realistic chance of drawing a Super Bowl (or more than one) could greatly bolster the stadium’s direct and indirect profitability.
Things are still far from finalized, as there are certainly problems associated with holding the Super Bowl at the proposed site. Parking has consistently been raised as a significant concern, and some solution would need to be determined to solve this issue.
The traffic generated by such a major event could also overwhelm local neighborhoods, but weighed against the tremendous benefit it could bring the region, I am certain a workable solution could be found.
It is interesting to note that the Senior VP of Cisco Systems spoke at the event in favor of the stadium initiative. Cisco occupies a significant stretch of property along Tasman Drive in Milpitas, between the proposed stadium site and I-880. If any major business stands to be affected by the traffic issues the new stadium would bring, it is Cisco.
The fact that Cisco has come out in support of Measure J should offer at least some corroboration to the notion that local businesses are willing to work through the relatively minor problems facing this project in order to bring about positive change for the region.
Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate stands at 12 percent. A $927 million construction project would generate thousands of jobs, both temporary and permanent, and would bring a bevy of new long-term economic activity and opportunities to the entire region.
In comparison to such tremendous benefits, parking and traffic issues—along with the speculation that Monday Night Football games could be problematic and that somehow an unused vacant lot could generate more money for the city than an NFL stadium—seem minor cons.
Drawing the Super Bowl would greatly increase the benefits the stadium could bring about.
It is time for the citizens of Santa Clara to do what is best for the region, and best for the 49ers: Vote YES on Measure J.
Keep the Faith!