San Francisco Deltas find new home at Kezar Stadium

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Kezar Stadium was once the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Now it will be the home of the San Francisco Deltas, a professional soccer team.

The city voted Thursday to approve a deal which will include major renovations to the facilities. Not everyone is happy with plans to change the stadium, which is located on the corner of Golden Gate Park.

The stadium is a facility still enjoyed by many, even decades after the San Francisco 49ers called Kezar their home turf.

It will soon be the home of a professional soccer team that few have even heard of.

On Thursday, the city's Recreation and Park Commission heard from dozens of soccer fans who support the idea. The team's CEO promised no taxpayer dollars will be used.

"We'll spend tens of millions of dollars in the next 10 to 12 months to make this a reality," said San Francisco Deltas CEO Brian Andres Helmick.

The team will be a member of the North American Soccer League, a division below the Major League Soccer division.

"Businesses that are near the stadium will see extra foot traffic, they'll see extra business," said neighborhood leader Ted Loewenberg.

No one is happier than Cyril Hackett, the owner of Kezar Pub across the street from the stadium.

"I think it's good news for San Francisco and the Bay Area to have another sports team that people can get behind and support," said Hackett.

Not every nearby resident agrees. Those in the Inner Sunset and Haight Ashbury neighborhoods have seen the aftermath of big events like Outside Lands.

"Six thousand cars does not work, Muni is already overcrowded and understaffed," said neighbor Tess Welborn.

Alcohol will be sold inside the stadium during matches.

Helmick says San Francisco police and a private security company will make sure those issues don't become a problem.

"We're a tiny, tiny user of the stadium," said Helmick. "Of the 365 days out of the year, we're only going to use it for a few hours, 15 to 20 days of the year."

The stadium will continue to be used by public schools and nonprofits. The Deltas will take the field in April 2017.
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