Saturday, November 11, 2006

The San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara

Earlier in the week, 49ers owner John York cut off negotiations with San Fran over a new stadium and said he was moving to Santa Clara -- now, he's leaving the door open. This is a tactic that only the NFL is really able to get away with these days; bilking the city and its taxpayers into footing the bill for new stadiums that get saddled with awful names in order to raise more cash via naming rights, although baseball owners are able to do it too (see the Athletics announcing they're leaving Oakland for Fremont.)

Neither of these pending moves are as obnoxious or as insulting to a fan base like, say the Browns transforming into the Ravens upon their move to Baltimore or the Colts ditching the Charm City for Indy, famously, in the middle of the night. As the title indicates, it may be part of a new micro-moving trend where owners who can't get anything out of their metro base head to the sub- and exurbs. The Cowboys play in Irving, Texas, and two of the four Detroit teams play outside the city limits -- and have for years.

York plans to keep the name, which will continue a trend of teams that play outside of a large metro market trying to take advantage of said market, and this is what Angels owner Arte Moreno hath wrought after his little Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim gambit was deemed permissible under his agreement with the city of Anaheim. No one was happy with that outside of Moreno -- Orange County and Anaheim folks weren't thrilled, L.A. people are Dodger people, the fans shrugged it off.

The one nice thing is that York has either decided to stay out of L.A. or he knows the city won't deal with his chicanery, because the Trojans would be a better show than most any pro team trying to come in and use the Coliseum.

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