SBD/June 6, 2011/Facilities

Cost Of Doing Business: 49ers' Santa Clara Stadium Estimate Increases

49ers have routinely referred to stadium as a "billion-dollar project"

The latest estimate for construction of a new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara “has risen to $950 million, up from the original estimate of $937 million,” according to David Goll of the SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL. 49ers VP/Communications & Government Relations Lisa Lang said that the new estimate “is likely to change again as design of the 68,500-seat facility” proceeds. Lang said that cost estimates will continue to fluctuate, adding that “team officials have routinely referred to the stadium as a ‘billion-dollar project.’” The stadium “is still on track for construction beginning in early 2013 with completion in time” for the ’15 NFL season. Other changes in the cost allocation and stadium planning include the 49ers “agreeing to pay 15 percent to 25 percent of development costs to cover such team-related facilities at the stadium as the team store, locker room and 49er ‘hall of fame’ facility.” The 49ers will also pay more in rent than the originally projected $5M a year, but Santa Clara acting Assistant City Manager Carol McCarthy said that “the new amount has yet to be determined” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/4).

HAVING TRUST ISSUES: AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke said that a "big part of the problem in persuading Los Angeles to make a deal for a new football stadium is the rampant mistrust between the city and the NFL -- largely created by so many false starts on stadium concepts." Leiweke said NFL owners "don't have a lot of faith" in L.A., and the city "doesn't have faith in the NFL, either." Leiweke said that AEG's plan to build Farmers Field is "largely misunderstood." Calling the downtown proposal the "best deal that's ever been made for any city in the history of the NFL," Leiweke said, "The biggest thing people don’t understand about the deal is they’re all convinced that the $350 million in bonds is going to end up coming back to haunt the city or ultimately affect the general fund, or become a liability to the taxpayers.” Leiweke contends that “persuading a franchise to relocate," while allowing AEG Chair Philip Anschutz to become a part owner, is "simpler than striking a deal with the city.” Leiweke: “There are 32 teams, and six or seven of those currently don’t have a home that economically works. Are all six or seven of those going to solve their problems in their current marketplace? No. We’re confident that it’s not just going to be one team. I think there are going to be at least two, probably more, that are going to have to look at moving in order to remain competitive within the league” (L.A. TIMES, 6/4).

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