In a fight reminiscent of tech bros versus Mission kids, the 49ers lost their fight against the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League and won't be turning their fields into parking lots.
At a Santa Clara City Council meeting on Tuesday, the kids, their parents, and supporters in the community came out in full force to protest a plan put forth by the NFL team to lease the adjacent fields from the city for 39 years and $15 million. The team would also give $3 million to local schools to build a new playing field for the league.
Even in the heart of Silicon Valley, money can't buy everything and the community fought back hard.
According to the Chronicle, an online campaign named Stand Up For Santa Clara was launched, which included the cute video above. In it, four of the youth soccer players sing "A Man Namde Jed" (charmingly, off visible cue cards), a parody of the Beverly Hillbillies theme song made to skewer Niners CEO Jed York.
"You are talking about a group of kids and parents who are really well organized," said Councilwoman Lisa Gillmor.
The plan was effectively killed at the meeting when the council decided to take the Niners deal with a public vetting instead of behind closed doors. A victory for the youth soccer league, indeed, but as Stand Up For Santa Clara notes, "[T]the work is not over. The council will still consider options."
"Whether it's the 49ers or someone else, the fields are still going to be prime land for development," said former mayor Patricia Mahan.
A spokesman for the team said the Niners would "continue to explore other avenues with our community partners to expand our support of youth sports and add to the public's experience at Levi's Stadium." Uh huh.
For now, the kids can continue to play soccer without having the worry about a wealthy NFL team getting a sweetheart deal from local government to pave over their fields.