When we read that plans to re-envision Candlestick Park (home of the San Francisco 49ers) were afoot, we expected to see yet another of the steady stream of proposals that look to professional sports to salvage troubled neighborhoods despite empirical evidence that shows that all they really bring is more traffic. But it turns out that we were wrong. The proposal is actually the starting point for Todd Jersey architecture to turn the stadium into a multipurpose venue that includes an eco-hotel and convention center that could not only save the surrounding swampland but green the scene as well.
Here’s how the plan would work: a hotel would be built up around the existing stadium, and guests could watch 49ers games right from the suites within. The convention center would occupy the field level when games are not in progress. All functions of the structure could make do with the parking already allocated to the stadium, and the surrounding wetlands would be preserved. The best part? Hotel taxes would fund the makeover.
At the end of the day, it’s still a football stadium, but, as the project comparison above shows, it’s a heckuva lot greener than Santa Clara’s proposal to lure San Francisco’s team away, largely because it would allow more fans to arrive by public transportation (transit accounts for the lion’s share of professional sports’ outsized carbon footprint.) Call it bread-and-circuses with a slightly green twist, but that’s the way the ball rolls (we’re talking about the 49ers, after all).