NFL OKs 200M in funding for 49ers stadium

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NFL OKs 200M in funding for 49ers stadium

The NFL on Thursday allocated 200 million toward the funding of the 49ers' Santa Clara stadium effort, the league announced.Team president and CEO Jed York described the action as a "big step forward."The approval of the "G-4 loan" is the last piece of financing needed for construction to begin on the stadium, the 49ers announced. The 49ers are the first franchise to receive support from the new stadium fund that was crafted in the collective bargaining agreement with NFL players last year."Today's vote is an important milestone for the 49ers and their fans," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "It is a solid endorsement that adds to the strong support of the South Bay community. This step will allow the 49ers to move forward toward making the dream of a new stadium a reality."In December, the 49ers secured 850 million in loans for the 1.02 billion stadium through Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and U.S. Bank. But those loans were contingent on the NFL agreeing to finance at least 150 million toward the stadium.The rest of the cost will be covered by a hotel tax and Santa Clara's redevelopment funds.
"With the NFL's muscle now behind the new stadium, we are moving forward," York said in a statement. "I expect an official ground-breaking ceremony very soon. Get your hard hats ready; we are embarking on the path to the next generation of 49ers football."The 49ers expect official groundbreaking could happen as early as the first quarter of this year. The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2015 season, with the possibility it could be completed a year earlier. The 1.85-million square-foot facility will seat approximately 68,500 and feature and expected 165 luxury suites and 9,000 club seats. The club says it will be designed with multi-purpose flexibility to host a wide range of events including, domestic and international soccer, college football, motocross, concerts and various civic events, and is expandable for major events such as the Super Bowl. A group called Santa Clara Plays Fair is challenging the City Councils development and financing plans for the stadium.

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season due to his broken lower left leg, no matter how far the team advances in the playoffs.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that further examination determined Thomas' fractured left tibia will require a recovery time that does not allow for the possibility of a return during the 2016 season. Carroll said after Sunday's 40-7 win over Carolina that Thomas' injury usually takes a minimum of six weeks of recovery time.

It's the first major injury of Thomas' career. He played 106 straight games before missing Seattle's loss at Tampa Bay last week with a hamstring injury. He quickly recovered to play against the Panthers, but was hurt in a second-quarter collision with teammate Kam Chancellor going for an interception.

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Mike Nolan coached the 49ers for three full seasons before he was fired after Week 7 in his fourth year at the helm.

On Monday morning, he was asked about the situation in Santa Clara and if he would make a change at head coach or general manager.

"It's sad that it's gone to where it is," Nolan said on 95.7 The Game. "They're beginning to look much like when I took the job over in 2005 ... and there really was not a lot of good personnel on the team.

"The difference though that is better and will continue to be better, they will be (in) a much better cap situation going forward than we ever were back then ... but the losing I should say is really killing them.

"The personnel is not as bad as they're playing and that's the thing that really gets under your skin as a coach because you're frustrated by what's going on ... the thing that I have thought most of the season when people were talking about changes as the losses started to mount up, was not to change it. Because I know Trent (Baalke) personally, and Trent does a good job with personnel and that's his primary job.

"But for a lot of strange reasons -- guys retiring, guys quitting a couple years ago, just a lot of weird things that occurred -- their roster has kind of fallen off a little bit, but it is still a much better roster than some of these other teams that are not winning."

After winning their Week 1 game against the Rams, the 49ers have lost a franchise-record 11 straight games.

Chip Kelly is under contract through 2019 and the team owes Jim Tomsula $7 million over the next two years combined.

Baalke's contract runs through 2018.

"It's about players first and I think they have the right guy in place to pick the players but unfortunately for Trent, I think the choice of Tomsula hurt him and currently right now with Chip Kelly it's not helping him either," Nolan added. "They do not have a bad roster.

"Obviously they need a quarterback. They could be a .500 team in my opinion if they get a quarterback as near as next year even ... they got a tough decision to make at the end."