Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A potential spring football team in San Fran would have just the XFL experience to follow


San Francisco, California, has a lot of football tradition to offer a possible new spring outdoor alternative professional football league team.

It also doesn’t hurt that, according to Nielsen, San Fran is the sixth-largest United States television market.

San Francisco, of course, has been the home of the National Football League’s 49ers since 1946 – back in the old All-America Football Conference days. They will play their final season at Candlestick Park this fall before moving into the new Levi’s Stadium in near-by Santa Clara. Levi’s Stadium will have a grass surface, and will have a capacity of 68,500.

The five-time Super Bowl-champion 49ers still get great fan support to this day, as they were 12th in the NFL last year in average capacity filled per home game (99.3 percent), 10th in 2011 (99.3 percent), 10th in 2010 (99.3 percent) and 12th in 2009 (99.3 percent).

While Levi’s Stadium would be the obvious top choice for a new spring outdoor alternative pro football league team, it isn’t the only such viable venue in the San Francisco area.

AT&T Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants, has been the home of quite a few football games in the past, including alternative football teams like the San Francisco Demons (XFL, 2001) and the California Redwoods (United Football League, 2009). And it would be more than big enough for a pro football team at a capacity of 41,503.

Close by in San Jose is Spartan Stadium, home of the San Jose State football team. Spartan Stadium seats 30,456 for football. About 40 minutes away is the Stanford Cardinal’s football team’s stadium – Stanford Stadium (50,000 capacity). And roughly 45 minutes away from San Francisco is the home of the California Bears football team, California Memorial Stadium (63,000 capacity).

BOTTOM LINE – San Francisco’s XFL experience not only ended with the Demons playing in the league’s championship game, but also with the league’s best average home attendance (35,005). That, along with the history of supporting the 49ers, the market size and the ample venues available, would make San Francisco very desirable for any new football league.

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