49ers stadium opponents vow to continue fight

January 25, 2012 12:01:27 PM PST
Angry opponents of a new 49er stadium in Santa Clara promise to fight back in spite of a rejection by the city council. Tuesday night, the council voted to deny another vote on the issue.

The groundbreaking is supposed to start next week with site preparation beginning on Monday. Stadium opponents are hoping for two things to happen that would stop the project as though Patrick Willis was tackling it. For construction crews, it is still all systems go in terms of getting everything in place for Mondays "soft groundbreaking," as they call it.

Millions of dollars have been set aside for this initial phase, but a group called "Santa Clara Plays Fair" wants another vote on the plan and they need a judge to order that vote because at Wednesday night's city council meeting, members voted 5-2 to deny their initiative to let voters decide on the financing for the plan which they say puts the city on the hook for $850 million. They say a measure approved by voters in June 2010 said the team, the NFL, and the stadium would carry that burden.

City council member Lisa Gillmor says they still do carry that burden. "We had a representative from Goldman Sachs and the banking consortium that was at our meeting in December, and he said very emphatically that Goldman Sachs and the lenders would never look to the city of Santa Clara or the redevelopment agency to repay the loan. Pure and simple," she told ABC7.

Santa Clara Plays Fair says the $3 million to $4 million cost for the vote in June pales in comparison to the $850 million the state and city may have to pay. The city says this issue is not referendable, meaning you cannot put it on the ballot.

Both sides agree on one thing and that is that a judge will decide if voters get one more say on the issue.