Losing 49ers Means Losing Millions, SF City Officials Claim

49ers' loss is financial hit to SF.

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012  |  Updated 3:07 PM PDT
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Loss of 49ers is Loss of Millions for SF

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14: Carlos Rogers #22 of the San Francisco 49ers runs out on to the field for the start of the NFC Divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Die-hard San Francisco 49ers fans may lament the team's move from the city to home games in Santa Clara (where the team's headquarters and practice facility have been for years). But they aren't at risk of losing their jobs -- unless they're also employees with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

Rec and Park is the 49ers' landlord at Candlestick Park, which has been the team's home since it moved from Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park in the early 1970s. Once the 49ers leave town, they'll leave Candlestick without a tenant, which means Rec and Park won't get the $9.6 million it earned during last year's historic season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The city netted $3.5 million in profit after expenses in the last year, according to the newspaper. In other years, the city banked about $1.5 million in profit off of Candlestick, according to SF Weekly.

But this time around, balancing that budget will mean less city gardeners and custodians "fixing broken swing sets and offering swim lessons," the newspaper reported. The department's total budget is $128 million, and $3.3 million must be cut.

"It leaves us with a significant hole that the city family will have to figure out how to fill," Rec and Park spokeswoman Sarah Ballard told the Chronicle.

Fans also spent some $650,000 in hotels and restaurants during 49ers home games in 2011, according to the newspaper. With two preseason, two playoff, and eight home games, that's under $100,000 per game, but still a sizeable chunk.

So when the 49ers' new $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara opens up, and the park down the road is closed down tight, you'll know who to blame.
 

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