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Santa Clara council likely to OK study for Niners stadium

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Tonight, the Santa Clara City Council is expected to approve an appropriation of $200,000 for specialized consultants to look at the feasibility of building a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers next to the Great America amusement park.

Although official documents have revealed that several Santa Clara officials have been courting San Francisco’s football team for more than a year, tonight’s appropriation will be the council’s first concrete investment in bringing the team to the Silicon Valley city.

For nearly a decade, the 49ers have been in negotiations with San Francisco to rebuild the stadium at Candlestick Point. In November, however, team owner John York called Mayor Gavin Newsom to announce that the planned stadium project was unworkable for numerous reasons and that the team was moving south.

Subsequently, the team agreed to resume stadium negotiations with San Francisco officials — who are now proposing to build the new stadium at the former site of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard — but York has said the San Francisco site is only being looked at as a backup plan, if talks with Santa Clara fail.

The next big step in the process for Santa Clara will come closer to April, when the 49ers are expected to submit their stadium proposal to The City, which will include such details as how to finance the estimated $800 million stadium.

The $200,000 appropriation will be paid for using incremental property tax revenue available for the project since the proposed stadium would be within a designated redevelopment zone.

Although the Santa Clara City Council has said the stadium must have no negative impact on the general fund, with no tax increase, some of the redevelopment tax revenue could be used to partially pay for the stadium, Assistant City Manager Ronald Garratt said.

San Francisco officials are scheduled to resume talks with the 49ers on Thursday about The City’s proposal to build the stadium at the Hunters Point shipyard site.

On Monday, a resolution was passed by the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee in support of moving forward with the development project, which still includes residential and commercial development at Candlestick Point — with or without the 49ers.


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