Cities will hand over whatever it takes — and specifically, whatever the NFL wants — for a chance to land a Super Bowl.
And some Santa Clara soccer players are learning a real-life lesson in the business of the NFL, as their club’s complex is about to be taken over for two months by the NFL to create a “media village” near Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50.
“The 49ers and NFL care more about the property than the kids,” 16-year-old Andrew Robertson said, via Ramona Giwargis of the San Jose Mercury News. “I think it’s pretty unfair because that park has been there even before the plans for the stadium. I just think we deserve to be there.”
(Suddenly, I feel like the Grinch patting Cindy Lou Who on top of her precious little head, and telling her one of the lights on her tree is out, and I’m taking it to my shop on Mount Crumpit to fix.)
Sorry Andrew, but of course the NFL cares more about property than the kids. Because property is worth money, and kids and soccer games (250 or so which will have to be moved and rescheduled) are collateral damage in their war to conquer the hearts and minds and wallets of America.
But beyond the inconvenience of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League (which will lose its fields from Jan. 4 to March 2), there are also questions about just what else the city turned over to the league.
The 49ers and the league have promised to replace two grass fields at the park after the Super Bowl, and team spokesman Bob Lange said it was all part of the 2013 bid to land the game. But the soccer moms don’t have to like it, saying the takeover of the soccer park was a last-minute switch, since the park was originally supposed to be a staging area for the halftime show.
“This is a world-class soccer facility and they’re going to destroy it,” said councilwoman Lisa Gillmor, who happens to be a soccer mom as well. “I’m appalled at this behavior. It reeks of stinky backroom deals and I’m sick of it.”
Of course, “it reeks of stinky backroom deals” is practically a league motto, and the innocent soccer players and their moms in minivans aren’t going to change that.