Nothing trumps the importance of parking spots at a new stadium, not even Joe Montana and his four Super Bowl rings.
The 49ers are in a bit of a bind with parking at Levi's Stadium, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Montana, perhaps the most beloved of all the 49ers legends, and his development company has plans to build a $400 million hotel and entertainment center next to the stadium, of which Yahoo is a partner. That sounds like a perfect idea, one that adds to the fan experience and has the instant draw of having Montana's name on it.
But, parking. The 49ers don't have enough of it in Santa Clara. And according to the Chronicle, the team might block Montana's project to get more parking spaces. Under the terms of the stadium deal the 49ers are entitled to 789 parking spots on the same spot Montana plans to build. If you've ever tried to park at a NFL game (and paid what it costs to park at a NFL game) then you probably know that the parking spots are going to trump anything else.
"Their position has been that unless we find other parking acceptable to them, they may not allow the project to go forward," city manager Julio Fuentes told the Chronicle.
Parking issues are becoming a storyline for the stadium, and it's still months from opening. The story said the city and team haven't agreed on another fair alternative to the land Montana wants. The 49ers have turned down the 4,000 spots Santa Clara offered up as too far away, too waterlogged or having other problems, the Chronicle said. Santa Clara will not let the team use nearby youth soccer fields to park cars on game day. The 49ers informed the city that if the Montana project goes forward, Santa Clara needs to come up with 8.5 acres of land for parking free of charge.
It's getting a little messy, and the last thing anyone involved wants is a battle between the 49ers and their most famous player. Maybe Montana has something up his sleeve. If he can pull something off, it would be one of his most improbable last-minute victories.
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