The San Francisco 49ers‘ under-construction stadium in Santa Clara has been a reasonable deal for the public in some ways, but the whole bit about football fans needing a place to park their cars hasn’t worked out quite as smoothly. And now it may be setting some kind of record for roughness, as the Niners’ parking needs are threatening to put the kibosh on a hotel/retail/office complex being developed by, seriously, Joe Montana:
Under terms of the 2012 stadium deal, the 49ers are entitled to 789 parking spots on land where Montana’s company intends to build a hotel, stores and office space. The site is just across the street from the stadium.
“Their position has been that unless we find other parking acceptable to them, they may not allow the project to go forward,” said City Manager Julio Fuentes.
Just sharing parking spaces with the development won’t do, the team says. Niners President Larry MacNeil told city officials in a letter Feb. 10 that if Montana’s $400 million project goes ahead, Santa Clara needs to come up with 8.5 acres of replacement parking free of charge.
So far, the team has rejected most of 4,000 spaces that the city has proposed as too distant, too waterlogged or beset by other problems.
This is all part of the game of chicken the 49ers are playing with Santa Clara over parking, and will probably get worked out in the end. Still, even the prospect of a 49ers stadium not only not spurring local development, but actually preventing development being pursued by the team’s greatest player ever, stretches irony to the breaking point.