While the NFL continues to stumble through its labor dispute, the San Francisco 49ers have quietly been going about the process of getting their new stadium built in Santa Clara. There are huge financial hurdles in the road, but the team has taken a couple steps to overcome those hurdles. Today the team announced they formed a partnership with CAA Sports to sell naming rights for the anticipated Santa Clara football stadium. The 2009 agreement between the 49ers and Santa Clara included the right to sell naming rights, so this is just a step forward in securing an optimal deal.
CAA Sports has dealt primarily in agent representation of athletes, but has also done a lot of work in corporate partnerships with the new Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden. The interesting aspect of this relationship will be how the newly hired Chief Strategy Officer, Gideon Yu, is involved with CAA Sports. The hiring of Yu, a former Facebook executive, could be a key hire in the team's work towards boosting revenue streams now and in the future.
The 49ers have been hoping to start construction on the new stadium in 2013 with a scheduled opening for the 2015 season. The primary problem thus far has been figuring out how to pay for a new stadium. The economy went in the tank and California in particular is falling apart at the seams. The naming rights deal could be a pivotal aspect of the stadium project. I doubt they'll get anywhere near the $700 million Farmers Insurance has agreed to pay for a new LA stadium. Of course, it will hopefully also be higher than the $7.2 million the city of Oakland and Alameda County will get from Overstock.com.