49ers driving away long-time fans

When the 49ers started exploring a new stadium in Santa Clara, they knew they’d be alienating a lot of their fans in San Francisco.

They had to be aware that moving the team out of its natural location and into a billion-dollar facility 40 miles away would cost them some diehard fans that made the trek to Candlestick rain or shine.

With construction underway and the team asking astronomical prices for seat licenses, Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler asked current 49ers season ticket holders to tell him how they feel about the new stadium.

Of the emails Ostler shared, most voiced displeasure with how the 49ers have treated them. Numerous people wrote that seniority was not being taken into consideration for season ticket holders trying to get similar seats in the new stadium.

It also appears the 49ers aren’t being accommodating to groups of fans seated together. Requests have been made by fans to stay as a group, but it sounds like the 49ers aren’t being very helpful.

Another issue with the new stadium is the luxury boxes and press box behind the 49ers sideline. This configuration reduces the number of seats on that side of the stadium, which is forcing some Candlestick season ticket holders to the visitor’s side. Fans on that side look directly into a setting sun.

Tina Ford, whose family has owned tickets since 1946, wrote that the 49ers’ sales and marketing folks are “trying to paint a very positive picture about … the view from the (visitors’ side seats).” Ford’s obvious and valid retort was “Then why aren’t there any luxury suites on that side?”

One season ticket holder told Ostler exactly why he isn’t renewing his tickets, which sums up how a lot of long-time fans are feeling.

“When I felt the lack of loyalty, I canceled,” Michael Carothers told Ostler.