Not sold for sale, Today's San Jose Mercury news article. Also with the new coaster plans being delayed again till April before the city council they are making it tough on the park. Plus they are re tracking the grizzly It needed that though.
For sale: Great America theme park — but how will it impact the 49ers' stadium plans?
By Mike Swift
Mercury News Posted: 03/09/2009 06:09:59 PM PDT
In a development that could lower one roadblock to the 49ers' stadium plans in Santa Clara, the Ohio company that owns Great America said Monday that it plans to raise cash by selling a number of its properties, including the amusement park adjacent to the stadium site.
The 49ers said Monday they are still talking to Cedar Fair Entertainment about buying the park but are focused first on finalizing a deal with the city of Santa Clara to finance the stadium.
Cedar Fair had vetoed the 49ers' original proposal to build the stadium on Great America's main parking lot on Tasman Drive, one of the biggest obstacles to the 49ers' stadium ambitions in Silicon Valley.
Although the 49ers moved their stadium plan to an overflow lot, Cedar Fair said the stadium would damage Great America's revenue on game days and demanded to be compensated by the team. Sources familiar with the talks said the 49ers had discussed paying the company more than $1 million a year to close Great America on game days.
A publicly traded partnership based in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Fair announced Monday that it would slash the distribution it pays to investors nearly in half and would seek to sell excess land or theme parks in Toronto, Cleveland, Kansas City and Minnesota, as well as continue discussions with the 49ers about the potential sale of Great America.
"In light of current economic and market conditions, reducing our debt and strengthening our balance sheet Advertisement must continue to be a priority," Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair's chairman, president and chief executive, said in a written announcement.
Cedar Fair first said it would be willing to sell Great America to the 49ers in October 2007. While team and Cedar Fair officials have met several times, both in Santa Clara and Ohio, no deal appears imminent. Cedar Fair said Monday that it would not discuss potential asking prices for its properties, or the timing of those sales.
49ers officials confirmed Monday that they are talking to Cedar Fair about buying the park. But the team said it is focused on completing a deal with Santa Clara about the financial contribution, through redevelopment funds and a special tax on area hotels, the city would make to the stadium.
Santa Clara officials and the 49ers continue to meet for negotiating sessions every week, with both sides saying they are making progress. Successful or not, a resolution could still be weeks off — or longer.
"Patience is critical in all big deals," 49ers President Jed York said Monday. "We're getting close."
The full project, estimated at $916 million last year before the full brunt of the recession hit — potentially reducing those costs — would also be financed by the NFL, the sale of stadium naming rights and sponsorships, as well as seat licenses bought by fans.
Given the weakness of the economy and the disarray of the credit markets, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been pushing the 49ers and the Raiders to consider sharing a new stadium, along the lines of the venue being built by the New York Giants and New York Jets.
The park's market value is unclear. While Cedar Fair claimed in tax appeals last year that the park was worth about $44 million, the county's assessment appeals board set the park's value at about $104 million. Cedar Fair bought Great America from Paramount Parks in 2006 as part of a package of five parks, in a $1.24 billion transaction.
Whoever buys the park, I hope it's not the 49ers because I really do not want to see this park close no matter how good it would be for other CF parks and CF. Unfortunately I can't think of another buyer for the park in this economy especially for a park like CGA.
I thought the park looked mediocre and I knew it was choked up with the surrounding business park atmosphere but the postings of the last few our changed my view of the park even more. I thought the buildings came later around the park but an older member mentioned the park was built in an industrial zone. The order is different now I realize. I do appreciate the history of the park with it being built with its twin. I really wished the coaster worked out. I respect all the Super Bowl wins the Niners have but I never liked the baseball only looking Candlestick Park. I won't like their new place either if they actually do buy the park for the new stadium and provide Cedar Fair the favor of funds to help pay down debt.
I'm super big on the Philadelphia EAGLES and NFL football but for the sake of CGA I like the commissioner's idea of the Raiders and Niners sharing a stadium. Hopefully the Raiders half would affect the stadium in moving north closer to Oakland, between San Fran and Oakland for a new shared stadium.
I guess I'll always complain about the park's removal of the train for a Vekoma prototype that eventually got moved.
The park was pretty much in the middle of nowhere back in 1976 when it opened. I remember going there the opening season. While my memories from that age have faded to some extent, I do still remember pulling up in front of the park after having driven for some time over what was pretty much mostly empty pasture land. There weren't any tall buildings in the immediate area, or much of anything else in the way of already established businesses.
The idea that the park was plopped down in the middle of an already burgeoning industrial and business center just isn't accurate. Almost everything else that butts up against the park nowadays did not exist when it was built. Not that it matters, but the park was there first. Any company that built anything near the park was well aware of its existence.
Edit: A picture that shows what it looked like back in 1976 should go a long way in backing up what I just posted: Click here for the picture
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