Judge rules in favor of 49ers on redevelopment funds

July 3, 2012 5:30:27 PM PDT
The San Francisco 49ers will fight to open their new Santa Clara stadium in two years despite a costly surprise.

Team officials say they're $30 million short. They were promised $40 million in redevelopment money to help build the stadium in a deal approved by Santa Clara voters in 2010, but they only received $10 million of that.

However, the 49ers scored a touchdown in court Tuesday although they were not publically cheering afterwards. "I'm not authorized to speak other than to a judge in the courtroom," said 49ers attorney Jonathan Bass. That was about all he'd say even though a superior court judge granted the team's request prohibiting Santa Clara from giving away the money the team says was promised them.

Last year, lawmakers dismantled all the redevelopment agencies in the state. Last month, a new oversight board decided to divert the $30 million promised the Niners, saying students and teachers need the remaning millions, not a football team. The decision to pull the funs came out of the blue, but the 49ers refused to be sacked. They took their case to court seeking a temporary restraining order to keep the money untouched.

"The county auditor is responsible for distributing the funds as determined by law. What this means is he will not be distributing funds for the time being because the court has ordered him not to do so until the court can decide the issue," said attorney Orry Kourb, who represents the Santa Clara County auditor.

The judge ordered both sides back to court on July 27. In the meantime, the old redevelopment funds of $30 million will be frozen. The 49ers plan to open the new stadium in Santa Clara in 2014 and say their stadium construction project is on track.


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