Santa Clara, 49ers on the verge of deal

May 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Santa Clara city leaders say they are on the verge of a deal with the San Francisco 49ers that would help build a stadium in the South Bay. The financing package was discussed in a closed City Council session Tuesday night.

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The 49ers practice at their team headquarters in Santa Clara. The question is whether the parking lot across the street will become their home stadium in 2014.

The city staff and the 49ers have been meeting almost every week for close to two years to come up with financing terms both sides can live with.

ABC7 has been able to confirm some of the points of agreement the City Council will discuss in closed session on Tuesday.

  • The stadium funding plan comes in at $916 million.
  • The city portion would be around $90 million paid for with redevelopment money and a tax on hotel customers.
  • The city would also pay an estimated $62 million to move a utility substation and build a parking garage, spending that's already been approved to benefit the convention center.

The 49ers will pay rent to the city and cover construction cost overruns. The council could move to make the details public early next month.

"We would expect at some point there will be a public hearing on the term sheet and the citizens of Santa Clara will be able to comment on that," said 49ers Spokeswoman Lisa Lang.

Opponents say using any public money in these economic times will be rejected by voters.

"People are hurting and our city council seems oblivious to that fact by continuing to go down this part to cow tow the billionaires," said Byron Fleck from notwithmymoney.org.

San Francisco is also working on its own stadium proposal to try to keep the Niners.

"We've prepared a place for the 49ers and have a home in our innovative new neighborhood in Bayview Hunter's Point," said Nathan Ballard, spokesperson for Mayor Gavin Newsom.

But Santa Clara is confident its game plan is moving forward.

"The 49ers allowed and the staff negotiated such a great deal that the numbers went down dramatically and to a point where I'm very happy. I believe this will go to the voters and pass," said Kevin Moore with the Santa Clara City Council.

They're trying to finalize a funding blueprint for the new $916 million stadium. The proposal moves to an open city council meeting on June 2, 2009. An election could be held in March of 2010.

The goal is to open a new stadium by the 2014 season.

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