Niners exploring their options for new stadium in Bay Area

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers president Jed York said Monday that the team remains committed to building a new stadium in the Bay Area and will consider sharing a new venue with the cross-bay rival Oakland Raiders.

But York said because of the recent economic downturn, the 49ers' goal of playing the 2012 NFL season in a new home will not be met. He said the team won't have a new stadium built and ready for use until a later date.

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York made the comments during the 49ers' first State of the Franchise event for season-ticket holders at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.

"Whatever we do, we are going to stay the San Francisco 49ers," said York, the 27-year-old son of team owners John York and Denise DeBartolo York. "And we want to make sure that our fans know that we are going to build a championship-caliber team, and we are going to have a championship-caliber place to play."

York said plans to build a new stadium near the Great America theme park in Santa Clara remain the team's first priority. The 49ers continue to work closely with Santa Clara officials on the project, which the team hopes can be on a ballot before the city's voters in November.

The 49ers also continue to explore options in San Francisco at Hunters Point and Candlestick Park, where the team has played its home games since 1971.

"Everything that we're working on is to get something done in the Bay Area," York said. "I do take some responsibility with our relationship with the city of San Francisco. ... In order for anything to get done -- refurbishing Candlestick, looking at Hunters Point as an option, looking at a complete remodel of Candlestick -- there has to be an open dialogue between the 49ers and the city of San Francisco."

York said the 49ers aren't actively seeking a stadium deal with the Raiders, but the team wants to continue exploring every option it has.

"The NFL wants us to look at sharing a stadium, and that's something we'll definitely consider," York said. "If anybody has interest in looking at sharing a building, we're happy to sit down and talk. Do I think it's definitely going to happen and we're going to share a building with the Raiders? No, I don't. But I wouldn't rule out anything in the Bay Area."

York spoke during the 90-minute presentation, as did 49ers chief operating officer Andy Dolich, general manager Scot McCloughan and head coach Mike Singletary, who received several standing ovations from the audience.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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