Just a few days after the Oakland A's announced they're leaving the Bay Area for Fremont, the San Francisco 49ers dropped an even bigger bomb yesterday: They've given up on getting a new stadium and are heading to Santa Clara. Some city officials are holding out hope it's a power play to get a better deal, but team president John York says his decision is final. The San Francisco Chronicle added that it also ends the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics, but that's no big deal; nobody likes to have the Olympics in their city anyway.
But yeah: The 49ers could be leaving San Francisco. It's not quite the Browns heading to Baltimore ... but it's pretty bad. A 49ers fan shares his anguish:
This is demoralizing. Talk about the end of a great dynasty and its relationship with a city. If this is affirmed, realized and executed, I think this can legitimately be called the worst franchise move in history. It's that bad. Why would I even take it to that level? Because during the span of heyday years in which the 49ers claimed five Superbowls faster than any other franchise, they created a connection with the city that every other pro sport team envied. It's the equivalent of the Packers leaving Green Bay, the Yankees leaving New York and the Lakers departing Los Angeles. Those cities wouldn't be the same without their beloved team and neither would San Francisco.
The 49ers do seem serious about this; they've even posted a letter to fans on their official site, making it clear Santa Clara is the pick. Strange world, when Jacksonville has a team and San Francisco loses theirs. And what the heck is going on with California, anyway? Eventually, all teams there will just be named "California."