Major financial hurdle cleared for 49er stadium

March 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The 49ers score a major touchdown with the approval of a final financing plan. The total cost of the new stadium is a whopping $1.17 billion! It is a lot of money, but Santa Clara city officials are sure they can afford it.

Construction is underway and now the financing for a new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara is in place. Here's where the money for the $1.17 billion, state of the art stadium will come from: banks and the NFL will fund $785 million of it, $220 million will come from the 49ers, $162 million will come from naming rights and licensing fees, and Santa Clara's redevelopment agency will add $10 million. Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews calls it a good and solid deal.

"How we made it work was make the 49ers responsible for paying for it, have in on our land and not give up our land away to create limitations on all exposure," said Matthews.

"I just see that as more debt, more problems, more liability and I'm worried that Santa Clara will become a laughing stock," said Karen Hardy from Santa Clara Plays Fair.

Stadium opponents believe residents will still be on the hook for the money. They tried unsuccessfully to get the issue on the June ballot. They're even more concerned now that the cost for the stadium has gone up another $90 million in less than a month. But those who filled city council chambers Wednesday night, had only one thing on their mind.

"Come on, I'm 80 years old, hurry up, I want to see at least one game," said Dorothy Rosa, a Santa Clara resident.

The final vote to approve the financing plan and loan, which will close March 20th, was 6-1. Councilmember Jamie McLeod had the dissenting vote.

"I would have liked to have seen the team take on and carry more of the burden, frankly," said McLeod.

Opponents are still considering whether to appeal a judge's decision about taking the matter before voters. Meantime, official ground breaking for the stadium is set for May 1.


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