Montana: SF made 'terrible effort' to keep 49ers

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Montana: SF made 'terrible effort' to keep 49ers
October 26, 2013, 9:00 am
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Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana spent 13 seasons in San Francisco and led the 49ers to four Super Bowl titles. (AP)

LONDON -- Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana did not get sentimental when asked Saturday about the 49ers moving out of San Francisco.

Montana, instead, placed the blame on San Francisco politicians for the 49ers’ relocation to Santa Clara. The 49ers, of course, will remain as the San Francisco 49ers, but their home stadium will move 39 miles to the south.

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Candlestick Park is scheduled to be demolished shortly after the current season, and the 49ers will move into Levi’s Stadium for the 2014 season. The 49ers' team offices are also located in Santa Clara.

“I understand people’s concern about them leaving San Francisco,” said Montana, speaking at an NFL forum that featured questions from European fans of football.

“I don’t think there was enough of an effort by people in power at the time to try to keep them there. To me, they made a terrible effort to try to keep them in San Francisco.”

After nine years of working on a plan to build a new stadium on Candlestick Point, the 49ers announced in November 2006 it was shifting its focus to Santa Clara. At the time of the announcement, San Francisco hoped a possible new stadium would help draw the 2016 Olympics to the Bay Area.

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In explaining why Santa Clara became the focus of the new stadium plans, the 49ers said San Francisco officials were repeatedly warned about problems with the Candlestick plan and those in power, including then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, did not act.

So while the 49ers' home stadium will no longer be in San Francisco, it could've been a lot worse, Montana said.

"It's not like it went to Oakland," he quipped.