Tensions rise among Cedar Fair, Santa Clara and SF 49ers over Great America
Will the San Francisco 49ers pro football team be the new owners of the Great America
theme park in Santa Clara, Calif.?
That's one option the team's put on the table as it looks to find a new stadium to replace its long-time home on Candlestick Point. The Niners have eyed a new site in Santa Clara, on the parking lot of Great America. At first, Cedar Point was cool with the deal to build on its proprty, then not, then neutral and now, maybe not again.
Needless to say, that's ticking off the locals, including the Niners, as detailed in the Mercury News. So the Niners have floated the idea of buying the whole property, if Cedar Fair won't give up part of it for the stadium.
If Cedar Fair held onto the park and partnered with the Niners, perhaps we could settle the whole Cedar Fair vs. Six Flags battle on the football field, the next time San Francisco plays Six Flags chairman Dan Snyder's Washington franchise.
That would be awesome, especially if the team and the park worked together and integrated elements of the team into the park and vice versa. And what a backdrop that would be for an NFL stadium. Could you imagine having a roller coaster whiz by in the background of your Sunday game? With the screams from the park and the roar of the crowd brewing so loud that your heart races on 4th and 1 on the opposing team's 1-yard line down by 6 with 5 seconds left in the game. Can you imagine the hype and tension? Sports and theme parks, a possible match made in heaven?
I'm not familiar with this particular park and that area, but if it served as joint use for a stadium and a theme park it sounds like it would be a parking nightmare. I agree that there could be some neat theming elements done, but I wouldn't want Worlds Of Fun (my local CF park) to share parking with the Kansas City Chiefs. Again, I am not familiar with the area, but unless there was enough parking to handle peak Sunday attendance at Great America and Niners game at the same time, I see this as a one or the other kind of option.
Cedar Fair's deal with the city was that it gets 8,000 parking spaces for the park, so one would assume that would be a big issue on game days, assuming that the football fans, obviously, would want to get into whatever nearby parking was available. (And would have to be built to replace parking spaces that disappear under the new stadium.)
There's actually enough space to spread out there as it's between Highway 101 and the water. Why not build a parking garage like at Disneyland? It seems to me that building the stadium there could boost park attendance, and possibly game attendance as well. Great America was never my favorite park, but I did experience my first inverted, floorless ride there on Top Gun.
This is all going to come down to what the town of Santa Clara wants. Cedar Fair has a lease with the city through 2039, and the park area is zoned amusement. I doubt that Cedar Fair planned on leaving (They wouldn't really care about the stadium if that were the case), but if the city wants to buy their lease out and the residents want the stadium instead of the amusement park, than it appears that Cedar Fair would gracefully exit...with a handful of money from someone. The bottom line for them is that they feel the stadium would ultimately hurt the business of Great America in one way or another. I don't know if more money in Cedar Fair's pocket from the city would change that perception or not.
Nice! The Niners could rename the park "Boardwalk and Football."
Yeah, I think we can stipulate at this point that the sports field/theme park combo does not work.
More on this here:
I should have added Elitch Gardens in Denver, too. (Located next to the Pepsi Center.)
Amazing...are the 49ers moving to Santa Clara? And who's paying for the new stadium...the taxpayers of...where? San Francisco? San Jose? Santa Clara? The county? The State?
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