San Francisco voters Tuesday will consider five ballot measures, including proposals to reopen naming rights to the football stadium affectionately known as "The Stick," and to allow billboards along a section of Market Street in an attempt to eliminate downtown blight.
Proposition C, authored by Supervisor Bevan Dufty, would create a new naming agreement for Candlestick Park, home to the San Francisco 49ers.
The measure is intended to raise revenue for the city, after the expiration last year of the team's previous naming rights agreement with Monstercable. The agreement was signed before San Franciscans approved Proposition H in November 2004, which requires the stadium be called Candlestick Park.
The city owns the stadium and leases it to the 49ers. The lease ends in 2013.
Under a current contract with the city, the 49ers have the exclusive right to sell naming rights to the stadium to any of five companies, and the city receives half the revenue from any sale.
The stadium has previously been named 3Com Park and Monster Park.
The city received $3 million from the Monstercable agreement, about $700,000 per year.
Supporters say the measure represents a tax-free source of revenue that could bring in about $1 million per year to San Francisco.
However, the team is also considering a move to Santa Clara.
Proposition C would expand the pool of potential naming rights sponsors and it specifies that at least half of any naming revenue received by the city would go to fund recreation center directors. The Recreation and Park Department allocation, however, is not required and could be used for any purpose, subject to the supervisors' approval.
"It's The Stick. It's our stadium. That's its name," Supervisor Chris Daly wrote in the officially published opposition argument.
Daly argued that "the voters have already spoken" in favor of keeping the name Candlestick Park and "preventing politicians from selling the name for quick cash."
Daly said the Board of Supervisors already rejected layoffs of recreation directors proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom earlier this year, and won't allow them to be cut in the future.
Newsom, who supports the measure, responded that it was important to preserve "the free spaces middle class families use every day."
Proposition D would create a Mid-Market Special Sign District on Market Street between Fifth and Seventh streets, an area that has struggled with crime, homelessness, drug use, graffiti and abandoned businesses.
It would allow outdoor general advertising signs, with a portion of property owners' revenue going to arts and cultural programs.
Advertisements as large as 500 feet, including digital billboards and rotating signs, could be placed on building rooftops and walls along the two-block section.
Despite arguments that the measure would replace blight with a different kind of blight, a coalition of local artists, merchants and politicians support it, including the Mid-Market ARTS Alliance, the Market Street Association, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, District Attorney Kamala Harris and the San Francisco Police Officers Association, six supervisors and both the San Francisco Democratic and Republican parties.
Proponents hope to clean up and revitalize the area, known for its arts and theater venues, using revenue from the advertisements.
Opposition group San Francisco Beautiful argues San Franciscans and tourists as far away as Twin Peaks "would see ads for commercial products blinking every few seconds, blazing away 24 hours a day."
"This neighborhood requires political leadership that transcends an opportunistic initiative," the group wrote in its published opposition to the measure.
San Francisco voters will also consider propositions Tuesday to establish a two-year budget cycle, instead of the current annual cycle, and adopt a five-year financial plan; to eliminate a city law requiring supervisors have two aides; and to ban any increase in advertising on street furniture such as Muni bus shelters, and prohibit new advertising on city-owned buildings.
All measures require a simple majority to pass.