49ers New Stadium: Taking it in the End Zone
I’ve been a San Francisco 49ers season tickets holder since 1982, proudly attending games since 1971. During the 1981 season, before I had season tickets, I slept over at Candlestick Park twice to get in line for playoff tickets, braving my way through floods to reach Candlestick Park for that second sleepover, really. I sat five rows from the end zone when Dwight Clark blocked the sun directly in front of me to make The Catch.
As a season ticket holder, the York ownership has offered me to experience the upcoming Santa Clara stadium. According to the catalog, seating will be 1,400 less than Candlestick, but with 9,000 more club seats. There is Mobile Connectivity & Wi-Fi. Great. That means your cell phone will work, and you can waste time on your smartphone instead of watching the game in your expensive seat, annoying those around you, just like you do on the bus.
The stadium cost $1.2 billion to build. A good part of that is from the Stadium Builders License, or SBL. You would think a Stadium Builders License would mean the amount spent by the ownership for the stadium building contractors. Wrong. It’s the amount being paid by the season ticket holders.
That’s right, besides higher ticket prices, fans also pay the Stadium Builders License, and we do not have a say on the stadium design. Or do we? Since I’m being required to pay a Stadium Builders License, then I can at least decide on how I want my seat to look. I want my seat to be a huge golden shrine to legendary 49er Joe Montana. And before anyone crosses my aisle, they must kiss my Super Bowl XVI replica ring, which I got at Mervyn’s. I miss Mervyn’s. I got my ex-fiancé’s ring there.
As stated in the new stadium catalog, the following are benefits of the SBL:
#1 Ownership – You have the right to own your SBL for the lifetime of the new stadium.
(Meaning, you have the right to own this imaginary entity for which you paid a minimum of $2,000, forever.)
#2 Transferability – You have the right to transfer your SBL to a member of your immediate family or to a third party.
(Meaning, you have the right to give this unicorn for which you paid a minimum of $2,000, to whoever deserves it.)
#3 Right to Sell – You have the right to resell your SBL to any third party.
(Even better, you have the right to sell this unicorn for which you paid a minimum of $2,000, to whoever else believes in unicorns.)
Numbers 1, 2, and 3 aren’t really benefits, unless you consider the opportunity to spend money on an imaginary entity a benefit.
#4 Access – As an SBL owner, you’ll have exclusive opportunities to purchase tickets to other events hosted at the new stadium prior to the general public.
Number 4 is a benefit, but it’s still not worth paying the minimum $2,000 SBL to be forewarned that a Justin Bieber concert is coming to town. SBL gives me the right to purchase season tickets to see the games. Call me old fashioned, but I thought just buying tickets gave me the right to see a game. Just like when I buy tickets to see a movie, same as buying tickets to a rock concert, a baseball game, season tickets to the opera, or an oil wrestling benefit tournament.
Some fans pay up to $12,000 for the SBL alone. For that price, sportscaster Bob Costas should be sitting next to the fans, announcing the play by play. I couldn’t afford that. I’d probably have to give up my first-born. Although I don’t have a first-born, due to my having an ex-fiancé.
I understand paying a higher ticket price for a new stadium, even though it goes up for me from $390 to $1,047 per season, and I would have to schlep all the way to Santa Clara. I don’t like it, but I understand it. But an SBL? And with lame reasons for justifying an SBL? Are there any lawyers out there who can contest this scam? Are we fans going to just lay down like sheep and take it in the end zone?
Many people are already upset with the York ownership. There’s been booing in the stands with the mere mention of the York name. Recently, I was at a grocery store looking for candy. I asked the cashier where I can find a York Peppermint Pattie. Suddenly, everyone around me boos. Walking down a street I see a friend of mine who’s been away for a while. He tells me that he was visiting New York. Again, I’m surrounded by knee jerk reaction of boos. Later, I’m at the butcher asking for a pound of pork. Everyone around me boos. I protest to the crowd: “I said pork! Not York! Pork!” A Rabbi boos me.