NFL OKs 200M in funding for 49ers stadium

February 2, 2012, 7:38 pm
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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.

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