SBD/December 7, 2011/Facilities

Santa Clara City Council To Vote On Financing For 49ers' Proposed Stadium Next Week

Marathe said team already has sold nearly $200M in luxury suites for new stadium

Santa Clara City Council members yesterday "appeared on their way to approve a mountain of debt to build a gleaming" new stadium for the 49ers, according to Lisa Fernandez of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The council is "expected to vote for the development contract and financing package Tuesday." But this week's hearings "offered critics their first chance to express concerns publicly about the city's exposure to risk." City and 49ers officials and the project's lenders "offered assurances Tuesday the city is protected in the deal, noting that the NFL would not let the 49ers default." 49ers COO Paraag Marathe "told the council the team already has sold nearly $200 million in luxury suites for the new stadium and predicted a 'significant announcement' on naming rights may come by the spring." In a separate "twist revealed earlier Tuesday, the council also received unexpected news from the current owners of Great America theme park, the potential neighbors of the 68,500-seat stadium." Cedar Fair Entertainment announced that it would "retain ownership of the park, even though just months ago it planned to sell it to a real estate investment group heavily backed by the 49ers." Santa Clara officials indicated that new Cedar Fair President Matt Ouiment was "determined parking concerns would be addressed" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/7).

NOT GONE YET: A S.F. CHRONICLE editorial states last week's announcement that the 49ers had "secured the $1 billion in financing for a new stadium was widely interpreted as marking their move to Santa Clara as a done deal." The editorial: "It is not. While there is no question that the football team is determined to move south, the obstacles in the way remain significant." What is "regrettable is that the franchise has all but foreclosed the option of building its new stadium in San Francisco if the Santa Clara deal falls apart." The deal that has been "put together in Santa Clara includes elements of risk that could raise doubts both in Santa Clara and within" the NFL (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/7).

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