06 January 2007

And now... SB 49

It only took a few weeks, but the details of State Senator Carole Migden's (D-SF) anti-relocation bill, SB 49, have come to light. Text of the bill is available from the Legislature's website in either HTML or PDF. Migden's bill was initially reported as being relevant to NFL teams, but I want to see it first before making any sort of judgment.

As expected, the bill has some rather broad language that makes it appear that it could be applicable to any pro sports franchise. Once you scroll down the page a little, you get to the part that makes it abundantly clear that Migden is referring to an NFL franchise, namely the 49ers.
(5) "Professional sports franchise" means a franchise or other entity operated for the exhibition of National Football League games, and any affiliate organized to develop or operate a sports stadium.
Not sure why Migden simply didn't replace "professional sports franchise" with "National Football League franchise." I doubt NFL commish Roger Goodell and the owners are going to rush to change the league's name in response to the bill. In any case, the A's aren't likely to be affected.

Ironically, passage of SB 49 could prevent the 49ers (and/or the Raiders) from staying in the Bay Area. If enacted, the 49ers would be restricted from moving to Santa Clara. That would force the team (barring appeals, of course) to deal with San Francisco, but if a deal fell through there, the team would be forced to look outside the Bay Area altogether. Even Sacramento, which is 90 miles away from SF, would be out of bounds. Los Angeles, however, wouldn't. Should the bill pass, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see a great deal of support coming from Southern California. Ouch.

SB 49 will probably face revision as it runs through committee. We'll see if it stays intact or gets neutered, as SB 4 did in 2005. Who knows, references to the NFL could be removed, or the 100 mile restriction. Should either of those changes occur, owners of all fifteen major sports franchises in California could become seriously interested in the bill.

Note: The San Diego Chargers, who are looking for a new home somewhere in San Diego County, would also be stifled by the bill. They would have the ability to move to Los Angeles - but not Anaheim, which is closer than 100 miles away.


Anonymous said...

Thankfully, there are South Bay politicians ready to fight this stupid bill! It's about time that they stood up to the arrogance that is SF politics! San Francisco has already kept MLB from coming to San Jose/Santa Clara County to benefit their Giants. Now, their politicians in Sac are attempting to keep the NFL out of SJ/SCC. Here's to SB49 dieing on a vine!

Anonymous said...

where does this one rank on all time stupid legislation ideas?

Jeff P said...

It ranks high in stupidity. I seriously doubt it would survive the inevitable legal challenge from the affected league. This particular bill would seem to run afoul of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution. It could also accelerate York into entering an agreement with Santa Clara before the legislature could act on the bill.

baycommuter said...

these kinds of bills almost never pass, they're just there to make it seem like the local legislator is doing something for his/her city.

Transic said...

And now the Bay Area Council has come out in strong opposition to this bill:

Anonymous said...

Great. Another meaningless bill to ensure re-election by the masses/sheep. I love seeing my tax $ go to such valiant causes.