That didn’t take long: As threatened, the San Francisco 49ers filed suit against Santa Clara County on Wednesday over its disallowance of using $30 million in future property-tax money for the 49ers’ new stadium, and yesterday the team got a temporary restraining order telling the county to put a hold on the funds until a Tuesday hearing.
It’s not entirely clear what the 49ers owners’ argument is here: The team cut its stadium deal on the promise of getting the $30 million from Santa Clara’s regional development authority, but the RDA doesn’t exist anymore, and the new board that controls the money doesn’t feel bound by the RDA’s agreement. Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News reports that “The overall issue of who gets the funds is expected to be tied up in separate court cases later, possibly after a state appeals board could also hear the issue.”
Since construction on the stadium is already underway, presumably the only issue here is whether the 49ers get $30 million in extra public cash toward their project or have to eat the cost. In the meantime, Santa Clara will just have to hold off on hiring those $30 million in schoolteachers it was hoping for.