Move forward with 49ers stadium, Santa Clara report says

Although Santa Clara is $51 million shy of the $160 million the San Francisco 49ers say is needed in order to build their new stadium adjacent to Great America amusement park, a report released Friday prepared by employees of the Silicon Valley city recommended entering into formal negotiations with the NFL team.

Santa Clara City Council will meet Tuesday to discuss the feasibility study that city staff released Friday, which examined how financially realistic it would be to pay for a stadium that would then draw the 49ers away from San Francisco. The council is slated to vote on whether to enter into negotiations with the possibility that they would invest city resources into the $854 million stadium plan.

“Clearly the $85 billion in economic impact the stadium would generate [locally] had an impact,” said team spokesperson Lisa Lang of the staff recommendation.

In November 2006, the 49ers informed Mayor Gavin Newsom that a proposed stadium project at Candlestick Point was unworkable due to parking and transportation infrastructure concerns. The City has since proposed building the team’s new stadium at the site of the former Hunters Point shipyard, which the 49ers have said they are only considering as a backup plan.

The City recently announced it secured $82 million in federal funding that would be used to clean up the toxic land at Hunters Point. A spokesperson for the developer of the Hunters Point project said San Francisco is a better choice for the team because the environmental impact review for its site is already under way.

Last month, Santa Clara unveiled a package of potential funding methods for the stadium, including $136 million in redevelopment funds and a potential $35 million from a fee for hotels in the area.

Additionally, Santa Clara would need to pay $42 million for a new parking garage for the team and $20 million to move an electric utility substation out of the way of the proposed stadium.

The report released Friday indicated the project is “feasible,” but only if Santa Clara uses some of its public utility funds to move the substation.

A passing vote Tuesday would allow Santa Clara city staff to enter into negotiations for six months, said Assistant City Manager Ron Garratt. He said the “biggest hurdle” of the deal involves separate negotiations with the owner of Great America, which has expressed concerns about the effect of the stadium.

dsmith@examiner.com

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