Cedar Fair wants more than $110M from 49ers for Great America buyout

Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 10:54 PM | Contributed by kpjb

Theme park owner Cedar Fair Entertainment says an NFL stadium next door would be bad for business, so it might sell the park. The 49ers might be willing to buy it. Cedar Fair's asking price is over $110 million, according to two sources knowledgeable about the talks. That price is far more than $44 million - the value that the company is claiming the park is worth in its fight with the county assessor.

Read more from The Mercury News.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 11:01 PM
Jeff's avatar Since when does assessed value have anything to do with an actual selling price?

I've heard from ex-Paramount people that Great America was a drain even on the old owners. I'm not surprised that they'd like to shed it now. It's a shame they can't get more for it, but they're not really selling the rides, only the lease and the infrastructure. I say go for the biggest score you can get, since you've got them by the balls.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 11:03 PM
You all better get out there before its too late. At least it wont be a "shock" this time. *sigh* Here comes another 12 months of Dick Kinzel death threats and countless petitions.
Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:12 AM
delan's avatar Wow, just....WOW!
Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:36 AM
I've hated the Niners ever since they got rid of Montana.

Just another reason to hate em.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 2:55 AM
Wow, this whole story has really turned into a soap opera.

I would like to know how a football stadium would be bad for business. I just don't see how it would affect Great America.

If they sell, move the Columbia Carousel to Cedar Point since that park doesn't have an entrance piece worth looking at right now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:47 AM

Now, I know this might not go through, but in the event that the 49ers do agree to a purchase price set by Cedar Fair, would that mean the end of Great America?

I don't see any other park operator stepping in to take it off the 49er's hands after they take-over the lease...especially considering Cedar Fair is willing to dump the park due to alleged lower-than-expected performance issues and the close proximity to a sports stadium.

There goes your new "first-time-in-10 years" wood coaster you NorCalers. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008 8:44 AM
kpjb's avatar Yeah, I don't get how they claim the assessed value should be the same as the asking price. It's the same as the "suggested retail value" of an item. Doesn't mean you're not allowed to charge more.

I understand the land values are higher out there, but I still can't see how this stadium should cost $1,000,000,000. PNC Park, Heinz Field, and the new Penguins arena combined didn't cost that much. Are the chairs made out of ivory and coated with baby seal fur?

I'd imagine they'd try to sell off a management deal for the park so they can have their way with it, but not be involved in the day to day operations.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:14 AM
1,000,000,000 is not that much. The new Dallas Cowboys Stadium that is 60% complete is tracking at 1.4 Billion. It will be incredible however- retractable roof and end zone walls- 75 yard long video screens- amazing. If the Niners are building an outdoor stadium- $1,000,000,000 would be alot. In Calf. you have seismic concerns- high cost of construction, etc.

BTW- The new Cowboys stadium is almost adjacent to Six Flags over Texas- probably not the same situation as CGA.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:45 AM
"I would like to know how a football stadium would be bad for business. I just don't see how it would affect Great America."

As I understand it, the new stadium would be built in one of CGA's parking lots, leaving them with insufficient parking. Plus worse parking problems on event nights.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:57 AM
janfrederick's avatar Hmmm...no more Imax, Train, Triple Wheel, Trolly, Whizzer, no new coasters, and attendence is dropping? Really? No way!

Then again, Great America Santa Clara never seemed the same to me again after I leaned about what the better version in Chicago had to offer.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:30 PM

Since when does assessed value have anything to do with an actual selling price?

I've always been under the impression that assessed value is expected to track market value, at least roughly. And, market value is supposed to track the price it would actually sell for. At least in MI, if you buy a house, the assessed value is automatically "reset" to the purchase price.
Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:50 PM
Hmmm...Astroworld vs Texans rings a bell here. Built in the parking lot of the park. This keeps looking worse and worser for the future of CGA at each new development. How would the locals feel about losing their theme park? Do they realize it's happening in front of their eyes and they are indifferent? I was surprised when Valencia stepped in to protect SFMM so I'm wondering if the San Jose area would prefer the sports complex to the park
Thursday, July 24, 2008 2:51 PM
I'm guessing the good citizens of Santa Clara will fall all over themselves to have the Forty-f*ing-Niners rather than some ratty old amusement park.

Having lived there, the South Bay has this rather serious chip on its shoulder about how the City gets all the attention, but the valley is where all the action (er, venture captical) is.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:24 PM
Jeff's avatar The assessed value of my house by the county (Cleveland area) is about 20% less than what it was valued at for the purpose of my mortgage. Looking at the country records online, that's pretty typical around here. I assumed it was that way everywhere, as does apparently the "experts" quoted in the article.
Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:30 PM
That could be because that's the state's ratio. In MI, the "State Equalized Value" is supposed to be 1/2 the market rate. So, when I wrote above "reset", technically, the SEV is set to 1/2 the purchase price.

If I remember correctly, CA (post-Prop 13) is flat comparable. Might be different for non-residential property.


Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:45 PM
janfrederick's avatar "but the valley is where all the action (er, venture captical) is."

Actually, all the VC is on the peninsula. ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008 5:31 PM
I'm sure Six Flags Discovery Kingdom would be licking their chops if CGA ended up closing.
Thursday, July 24, 2008 5:53 PM
^^yeah, Sand Hill Road, but the Valley thinks that it is the peninsula.
Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:57 PM
I have a question is next years coaster plan off? How is the park doing with extended hours, a new ride and shows?
Now some comments Six Flags Great America has lost 4 attractions this year. Local pass holders worry about this parks future. We also lost Sky Whirl, then it's replacement. We lost a theatre, simulator, shoots ride. County Fair now has a weed infested eyesore smack dab in it's center. Across and less visible are the concrete remains of SlashWater Falls. The hopes fo a giant Dive Coaster have faded. Attendence is hurting again this year.
Cedar Fair needs to standup to the city build the coaster or I fear the end is near. Who knows what Six Flags has planned in Gurnee. But if Cedar Point got Columbia the park wood be complete. We all know they would fix/run it better then it's Gurnee counter part. I hope it happens, then Six Flags may look into the lighting issues it has.

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