Santa Clara completes major task for new stadium

February 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The San Francisco 49ers are a major step closer to playing in the South Bay. Santa Clara has just signed off on the contractor, the terms, and the penalties, so it looks like the goal is to complete the stadium a year ahead of schedule.

They hope to get the stadium built by Aug. 31, 2014, just in time for the football season. And if the contractors can't do it, they'll face major penalties.

"Not only is it a great contract to ensure things will be built on time and on budget with the very best people and materials, but it also means that we'll have football here about to play in 2014," said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews.

If the contractor, Turner Devcon, doesn't meet its deadlines, it will be fined $6 million per missed game, with a cap of $20 million, and there will be daily penalties. However, if Turner Devcon meets its goal, it will get a $5 million bonus. The contractor also promises to create local jobs.

"I think we're going to peak at something like 1,400 trades people on the project," said Michael O'Brien from Turner Construction.

"We need this so bad to put the economy and put people back to work," said Mark Van Den Heuvel from Local 104.

Even though the Council voted in favor of the contractor terms, there are still those opposed to the stadium deal. Santa Clara Plays Fair gathered thousands of signatures to stop the stadium claiming it put taxpayer dollars at risk. The city is refuting that and letting the courts decide.

"Please reconsider your decision to reject the petition," said Sally Brett, a resident.

"We have litigation. They're the ones taking us to court for gathering signatures and they turn around and push this through? What's the hurry?" said Karen Hardy, a Santa Clara Plays Fair board member.

The issue will go before a judge March 5. In the meantime, official groundbreaking for the stadium is still set for May 1, 2012.


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