49ers File Lawsuit Against Santa Clara

The 49ers filed a lawsuit against the Santa Clara Oversight Board for $30 million.

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49ers File Suit Against Santa Clara Oversight Board Over $30 Million In Stadium Funding

Thursday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers announced they filed a lawsuit against the Santa Clara Oversight Board to block the board from reneging on a commitment of $30 million in stadium funding for the 49ers' new stadium. The 49ers have requested a temporary restraining order to prevent the board from disbursing the money for any purpose other than the new stadium.

The Oversight Board approved a measure last Friday that would pull back $30 million owed to the 49ers as part of the stadium funding process. In proposing the measure, county tax collector George Putris said, "Let's be real: That stadium is going to get built whether or not you get this $30 million." The money was part of $40 million that would come from the Santa Clara City Redevelopment Agency.

Previously, California had numerous redevelopment agencies across the state that could finance a variety of projects. The agencies were scrapped last year as part of the state government's attempts to balance the state budget. After the agencies were scrapped, the state created oversight boards that are required to follow specific parts of the law that were designed by the state in order to dissolve the Redevelopment Agencies.

In response to the dissolution of the agency, the 49ers advanced Santa Clara $30 million, with an agreement in place for the 49ers to be reimbursed for that money. The oversight board decided the money could be better spent elsewhere in spite of this agreement, leading to the 49ers lawsuit.

Following the filing of the lawsuit, a Sacramento Superior Court judge issued an order requiring the County to hold the disputed funds until a July 3 hearing on the 49ers request for a temporary restraining order. Construction will not stop at this point because the money was already advanced by the 49ers. If the 49ers lose at the temporary restraining order hearing, they would simply need to find another way to cover the $30 million they had advanced on the $1.2 billion project.

For more on the 49ers and their new stadium, head over to Niners Nation.


49ers New Stadium Groundbreaking: Live Stream To Air Historic Event

The San Francisco 49ers will take the last significant pre-construction step Thursday as they hold the ceremonial groundbreaking in Santa Clara. The 49ers have been conducting a variety of make-ready work at the site, leading to construction crews already on hand to clear out the Great America parking lot. This groundbreaking, however, will mark the first official construction steps of the 49ers new stadium. The 49ers developed a new website specifically for the new stadium and have a construction camera at the site, which will go live during the Thursday groundbreaking.

As late as last fall, many expected the stadium groundbreaking to occur later this summer, potentially delaying the opening until 2015. In the ensuing months, though, the 49ers finalized necessary financing, putting the stadium on the fast track for an opening day coinciding with the start of the 2013 season.

This year earlier is significant because it allowed the 49ers to plan on submitting a bid later this summer for Super Bowl L. A stadium is required to be in operation for two seasons before it can host a Super Bowl. A 2014 opening would have the stadium open exactly two seasons before the historic Super Bowl L. The 49ers are also planning on bidding for Super Bowl LI, as the NFL is requiring bids for both games at the same time.

For more on the groundbreaking ceremony, head over to Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area.


49ers Stadium Groundbreaking Scheduled For April 19

The San Francisco 49ers are closing in on their new Santa Clara-based football stadium after announcing an official ground-breaking date of Thursday, April 19. After wrapping up the needed financing for the stadium, the team had begun make-ready work around the site. April 19 will mark the first shovels in the ground for the actual stadium proper.

The 49ers have been working to get out of Candlestick Park for upwards of 15 years. This new project will place them in Santa Clara in what used to be a parking lot across the street from the team's offices at 4949 Centennial Boulevard. Late last year, the team and county secured $850 million in loans, which will go towards the estimated $1.2 billion stadium. There were some legal issues with regards to the financing plan, but following the dismissal of the claims, the project continued forward.

The team has announced plans to develop one of the most technologically sophisticated stadiums in the world, with parts of the budget going towards technology not yet invented. Super Bowl L has yet to be announced and this kind of technological prowess would likely be a significant benefit in a bid for such a high profile Super Bowl.

For more on the 49ers new stadium, visit the SB Nation Bay Area stadium story stream or chat about it at Niners Nation.

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49ers Secure $850 Million In Loans For Santa Clara Football Stadium

The San Francisco 49ers took a significant step forward on Friday in their attempts to build a new football stadium in Santa Clara, California. The team and the city of Santa Clara announced an agreement with Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and US Bank to secure $850 million in loans for purposes of financing the new stadium.

The new stadium is scheduled to cost $1.02 billion, although that figure is subject to potential cost overruns. The stadium was initially budgeted at $987 million but inflation and some new estimations bumped it up $35 million. The 49ers will be responsible for any cost overruns. The breakdown of the stadium financing is as follows:

$450 million: Bank loan to the city's stadium authority
$400 million: Bank loan to the 49ers, who pass the loan on to the city's stadium authority
$150 million: 49ers' payments, mostly from luxury suite sales (much of which has already been sold)
$20 million: City's stadium authority payments, from existing stadium revenues

While the city of Santa Clara is taking out a significant loan, the 49ers will end up paying for much of the debt. The 49ers will use ticket sales (including personal seat licenses), naming rights and other sales to help cover the deal. Additionally, they will pay an annual rent of $30 million to Santa Clara, the Santa Clara Redevelopment Agency will chip in $40 million and a local hotel tax is expected to contribute $35 million. Finally, the NFL is expected to provide upwards of $150 million through the refurbished G-3 program in the new CBA.

The conservative time table has construction starting in early 2013 and the stadium opening in 2015. The 49ers and Santa Clara are optimistic they can get shovels in the ground earlier than that and have an accelerated timetable of shovels in the ground in mid-2012 with the stadium opening in 2014. Santa Clara will begin make-ready work in the area in January 2012, which will include redirecting utilities and clearing up the Great America amusement parking lot that will be part of the new stadium. After that, the next big date will be when shovels hit the ground for the stadium itself.


49ers, Raiders Discuss Possibility Of Shared New Stadium

News out of the Bay Area today indicates the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders have begun meeting to discuss the possibility of sharing a new football stadium in the Bay Area. The 49ers have been working to finance and build a new stadium in Santa Clara while the Raiders have made it known they need a new stadium whether it be in Oakland or LA.

The biggest hurdle for any new professional sports stadium is the financing. During the economic boom of the late 90s and early '00s, companies, cities, counties, and states had little problem turning over huge sums of money to finance these monstrous cathedrals. However, since the economic downturn, financing stadiums has become a tricky issue. New football stadiums in Dallas and New Jersey have remained without naming rights and for California teams in particular, the state's economic struggles means there is little to no public money available.

A potential 49ers-Raiders partnership would put both teams in a position to dramatically decrease their own stadium costs. A joint stadium might boost the cost a bit, but having double the season ticket revenue and double the luxury suite money would make a significant impact. Even more important, having double the football dates makes a potential stadium all the more attractive to sponsors, whether it be naming rights or signage in the stadium. All of these benefits make such a stadium that much easier to finance.

These discussions remain in a fairly preliminary stage. Roger Goodell is very much in favor of a shared stadium but a number of questions remain before any sort of deal could be reached. The most prominent would be the location of a stadium. The 49ers are attempting to build their stadium in Santa Clara while Al Davis has said the best site for a shared stadium would be at Oakland Coliseum location. Do they split the difference and head over to San Francisco?

The issues between Raiders fans and 49ers fans isn't much of a problem since they'd be using the stadium on separate days. However, one would imagine 49ers ownership would at least be a little bit wary of getting in bed with Al Davis ownership given the number of lawsuits he's filed over the years. During his time as owner, Al Davis has sued everybody from the league to the city of Oakland to the Oakland Athletics. Although this might give the 49ers pause, they do have an historical relationship dating back to when Edward Debartolo Sr. bought the team for his son. As 49ers owner Jed York pointed out:

"One of the things that I think a lot of people don't realize about the 49ers and the Raiders is that the person who brokered the deal when my grandfather bought the team was Mr. Davis," York said. "So it's not like there is any bad blood. You need to look at that. When you're talking about a billion-dollar investment, and there's not a lot of public money in California to build these stadiums, you need to look at those things and that's something that we've done."

Once a new CBA is worked out, any future deal could take a more concrete step forward with a new G3 fund. The lockout forced 49ers pushed back their opening date in Santa Clara to 2015 because of the need for G3 money. Now that the lockout appears close to being resolved, additional steps can be taken to develop any stadium plans. The question at this point is whether those plans will involve the Raiders or not.

As developments progress, check out SB Nation Bay Area's stadium stream for further updates. And since 49ers and Raiders fans can't get along, Silver and Black Pride and Niners Nation will each have their own updates on the stadium situation.

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