San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York announced a much-anticipated $200 million NFL loan the team secured Thursday for new stadium in Santa Clara.
The money comes in addition to an $850 million bank loan approved last year to build the $1 billion, 68,000-seat facility that the team wants ready by the 2015 season. York tweeted Thursday that the stadium project took a “big step forward” after the terms of the loan were accepted by NFL officials meeting in Indianapolis, where the Super Bowl will be played Sunday.
The team is also getting help from $35 million in Santa Clara hotel taxes and $40 million in redevelopment agency funding, which the city says is still available despite the recent statewide dissolution of such agencies. A provision in the state bill that eliminated them allows projects already under contract to receive any previously dedicated money.
The news comes as legal wrangling over the stadium is ramping up in the South Bay city. A group called Santa Clara Plays Fair recently submitted thousands of signatures to seek a ballot referendum on the stadium’s 2010 voter approval, which the opponents say differs from higher cost estimates that are now in place.
But Santa Clara’s city attorney filed a court complaint Monday arguing that the issue has “once and for all” been decided by voters. Opponents have expressed interest in pursuing a court option to force the city to place the matter before voters.