SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The San Francisco 49ers have pulled their $15 million offer for soccer fields located next to the new Santa Clara stadium after youth soccer players showed up in force to a city council meeting to voice their opposition to a plan that could have left them without a place to play.
The 49ers wanted to use the soccer park for VIP parking and the rights to develop the 11-acre site. Aside from the $15 million, the team was offering a $3 million payment to renovate existing soccer fields and a cut of the stadium parking fees.
But the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League said the 49ers offer is a fraction of the current value of the land and the team had made no provision to replace the existing facility, which is used by some 2,000 kids most of the year for practice and games.
“The 49er’s CEO Jed York broke his 2012 commitment to the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League to underwrite several regulation-sized soccer fields to provide soccer players an alternative place to play when the 49ers had games at Levis Stadium,” said the SCYSL in a statement. “York promised not to touch the Soccer Park but is now driving a bad deal through Mayor Jamie Matthews.”
Players showed up in force for last week’s council meeting to voice that opposition.
“My son plays youth soccer right not. He would have no place to practice, no place to play. He would be displaced,” Santa Clara Youth Soccer Spokesperson Burt Field said.
Santa Clara City Council Member Lisa Gillmor received a call “from a 49ers executive last Friday confirming the obvious, that they are taking their proposal off the table.”