San Francisco 49ers president Jed York today hailed Santa Clara voters' approval of a ballot measure to relocate the team to that city with a new $937 million stadium, while San Francisco's mayor issued a statement warning that funding for the project is destined to fall apart.
"I think this is a very, very big day, not just for the 49ers but for the NFL," York said during a brief conference call with reporters this afternoon.
Santa Clara voters on Tuesday approved Measure J, with 60 percent supporting the proposal, which calls for a 68,500-seat stadium to be built next to the Great America theme park.
York called passage "a giant step," noting the difficulty of getting stadiums approved anywhere in the country. He said the next step is putting together the financing.
The team and the National Football League have agreed to contribute nearly $500 million, and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and the city of Santa Clara will foot the rest of the bill, according to York.
A new stadium in Santa Clara would replace Candlestick Park, located in San Francisco's Hunters Point, as the team's home venue.
In a statement released by his office this morning, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the Santa Clara stadium plan "is built on shaky economic ground, and a significant math problem and financing gaps remain."
Newsom said San Francisco is forging ahead with its redevelopment plans for Hunters Point, which include the possibility of a new stadium there.
"When the Santa Clara plan falls apart, San Francisco stands ready to welcome its 49ers home," Newsom said.
Opponents of Measure J had warned that while a stadium in Santa Clara might make money for the team, it would be a bad financial deal for the city.
Proponents countered that the deal would create thousands of new jobs for local workers and millions of dollars for schools and Santa Clara's general fund.