SBD/March 14, 2012/Facilities

Santa Clara City Council Finalizes Terms, Lease For 49ers Stadium Project

Santa Clara Council approval is seen as last meaningful step before building 49ers stadium
The Santa Clara City Council yesterday "finalized the lease, budget and overall terms" of the 49ers' stadium project, according to Howard Mintz of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The council's 6-1 vote to approve the deal is the "last meaningful step in a nearly six-year quest to lure the NFL team to Silicon Valley and build a new" 68,500-seat stadium on a parking lot adjacent to Great America theme park. Barring an "unforeseen development, it seals the deal on the 49ers leaving San Francisco and playing their games in Santa Clara" when the '14 season begins. There was "little dissent or discussion before the council cast its vote." The project's price tag has "jumped from the original projection" of $937M to almost $1.2B. Among other things, the cost has "escalated with plans to spend an additional" $50M alone on "high-tech gadgetry for fans that does not even exist yet in other NFL stadiums." But city and team officials now "project the overall cost to taxpayers will actually be lower than envisioned when voters backed the deal" in June '10. The Santa Clara Stadium Authority, the public agency "created to build and operate the team's new home, will carry" $655M to $785M in debt "plus interest over three decades to pay the bulk of the project, less than original projections" of $850M in debt. In addition, the 49ers have agreed to pay $30M of the $40M the city was "expected to contribute in redevelopment money." The 40-year lease between the 49ers and the stadium authority "calls for the team to pay the city about" $30M per year, a figure that will "rise if the stadium authority has trouble meeting its loan obligations" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/14). In S.F., Stephanie Lee notes members of the Santa Clara City Council, "acting as the Stadium Authority, are scheduled to meet again" tomorrow to "consider another round of documents for the stadium, including a non-relocation agreement that would formally commit the 49ers to Santa Clara" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/14).
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