49ers: Team May Buy Theme Park To Resolve Parking Dispute

Tuesday, October 9th 2007, 7:51 pm
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The San Francisco 49ers said Tuesday the team might be willing to buy the Great America theme park next to its proposed new stadium in Santa Clara to resolve a lingering parking dispute.

The announcement came as the amusement park's owners, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. of Sandusky, Ohio, planned to formally oppose the current plan for the stadium.

Team spokeswoman Lisa Lang said Cedar Fair recently informed the team of its intentions and plans to send out a press release detailing its opposition on Wednesday.

A Cedar Fair spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

Lang said Cedar Fair has indicated it might be willing to sell Great America and appears to be trying to drive up the potential sale price of the theme park.

``It's a negotiating ploy on their part,'' Lang said. ``We believe they ultimately want to sell this park. We're a football team. We don't operate theme parks. But if that's what it would take, and there's a reasonable price, then it's something we would consider.''

The 49ers need more parking for its planned $854 million stadium, which the team hopes will open for the 2012 season, and has been negotiating with Cedar Fair to use parking spaces surrounding Great America.

The proposed stadium would sit on 20 acres across the street from the 49ers' longtime training complex in Santa Clara, a suburb 30 miles south of San Francisco. The 49ers have abandoned their decade-long attempt to build a new stadium and massive business and residential development on Candlestick Point, the team's San Francisco home since 1971.