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Great America to get a new attraction: The San Francisco 49ers

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Published: November 10, 2006 at 12:10 PM

The National Football League's San Francisco 49ers have announced plans to leave the "city by the bay" and move to... the Paramount's Great America parking lot.

No joke. The city of Santa Clara is working on a deal to build a new stadium on the theme park's parking lot, which would open to host NFL games by 2012.

Cedar Fair, the new owner of the Paramount Parks, rents the land Great America sits on from the city of Santa Clara. According to news reports, the deal requires the city to provide 8,000 parking spaces for the park. So the city would be on the hook to either build a parking garage, or find some other land on which to park Great America's visitors. The lawyers will have to sort out if the city can count stadium parking as theme park parking, especially on days when the Niners play and the park operates.

Of course, having the Niners play just outside the park's gates ought to provide at least a promotional boost to what has been, in recent years, the least well-developed of the Paramount Parks. (I can't imagine that broadcast directors would pass up the chance to squeeze in a shot of a roller coaster or two when shooting the stadium from a blimp during games.)

Readers' Opinions

From Marc Ricketts on November 11, 2006 at 10:56 AM
A garage seems unlikely; the need for a garage in a new stadium in SF is one of the reasons the 49ers suddenly said that deal was dead there due to it's negative impact on tailgating before the game. Cedar Fair says they're willing to work with them on parking, and the 49ers also plan to utilize nearby office parking. They don't, however, appear to have a plan to finance the stadium, and the South Bay has tried unsuccessfully in the past for both Bay Area MLB teams (the Oakland As also announced a move this week to Fremont, BTW). The new stadium was also a key componont of the SF 2016 Olympic bid, so that is brought into question now as well.
Added Nov. 11: Reports are that talks with SF are back on; No one will be buying a Football/Theme Park combo ticket anytime soon.

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