While the San Francisco 49ers’ Super Bowl run has caused joy for residents and city officials, count former mayor and current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom among those whose excitement is tempered a bit by the team’s impending move to the South Bay.
The 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl and face the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans on Feb. 3.
Newsom and current San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee both talked about the 49ers at an unrelated event at University of California at San Francisco today.
While Lee expressed enthusiasm about the team and its chances, Newsom called the moment “bittersweet” because of the 49ers’ plans to move to a new stadium starting in the 2014 season.
He said, “I still maintain strong opinions on that, perhaps exclusive to my experiences of trying to keep them” in the city while mayor from 2003 to 2010, when he was elected lieutenant governor.
The 49ers, who still play in aging Candlestick Park, had worked with San Francisco officials on looking into new stadium sites.
However, plans never fully materialized before the team decided to move down south and Santa Clara voters approved a 2010 ballot measure to help fund a new stadium, which is currently under construction.
Newsom said while he is still “as big a fan as there can possibly be” of the 49ers, he was still “very disappointed” in the team’s decision to move, both as mayor and as a fifth-generation San Franciscan.
Newsom too decided to leave San Francisco last year though, moving with his family to a new home in Marin County.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News