Santa Clara approves $10M for 49er stadium funds

November 16, 2011 1:07:53 AM PST
They're ready to play ball in the South Bay. Santa Clara city leaders have agreed to pay $10 million to bring the city closer to a new 49ers stadium. It's a move that lays the ground work for the deal, but some residents are still complaining it's a bad deal for the city.

Right now, there is a large parking lot that in four years it could be a brand new state of the art 49ers stadium. Tuesday night, the Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously to spend $10 million to get the lot ready for construction.

"It's a very exciting, kind of soft ground breaking, so in January when you go out there, you'll see bull dozers out there moving dirt around and leveling out that vacant, wavy empty lot," said Santa Clara Mayor Jaime Matthews.

The money will pay for moving utility lines and installing sidewalks.

"There's a lot of excitement for the team, they're doing well and that excitement will definitely help build a new stadium," said Fred Santillan, the 49ers Booster Club president.

"They're wasting our money," said Deborah Bress, a Santa Clara resident.

Some still oppose the stadium plan, which will cost roughly $1 billion. The 49ers have agreed to foot most of the bill, while the city will spend a maximum of $40 million. As for the $10 million for pre-construction, $4 million is redevelopment money and the other $6 million will come from a loan, but the terms are still undefined.

"I think the people of Santa Clara should be absolutely appalled that they are moving forward with this without having the proper things in place," said Bress.

"My concerns have always been the risks to the city and the overall cost to the city," said Councilmember Jaime McLeod.

McLeod has always questioned this deal, but after learning the $6 million loan from the 49ers will be forgiven, if the entire plan falls apart, even she supported this move.

One very noticeable thing that was missing from Tuesday night's meeting was all of the public comments. Those normally vocal stadium supporters and opponents were silent. They say they're gearing up for the Dec. 6th city council meeting where all of the financial terms will be laid out.


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