As expected, the Santa Clara city council voted unanimously last night to approve the plan for a $1 billion San Francisco 49ers stadium, $850 million of which will be borrowed by the city and then repaid (hopefully) by the team.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, this leaves “one final obstacle” to the stadium project, which is for the NFL to agree to put up $150 million towards the plan as part of its Son of G-3 fund. There’s also the little matter of actually negotiating a lease, which is supposed to take place “in coming months,” but given the unanimous backing of the council, that’s unlikely to present much of an obstacle, though how precisely it goes down could have momentous impacts in terms of who’s on the hook if stadium revenues fall short of projections.
The Merc News also reports that the 49ers are now expected to try to break their Candlestick Park lease after the 2013 season, and open their Santa Clara stadium in 2014. That’s an ambitious timetable, but certainly doable given California’s year-round construction climate. Assuming the NFL acts quickly on its $150 million, we could actually see the 49ers playing in a new stadium before the water riots start.