Hoping to ensure that the San Francisco 49ers will indeed move to the South Bay, the Santa Clara City Council will vote Tuesday on legislation designed to protect public funds to help build a new $937 million stadium.
Santa Clara is scrambling to make sure $40 million in redevelopment funds approved by the city’s voters in 2010 isn’t taken away by the state. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed eliminating redevelopment agencies for cities to help reduce the state’s $25 billion budget deficit.
Santa Clara officials are trying to establish the fact that because the stadium project there has been developed over several years, redevelopment monies already earmarked for it and other city projects should be left intact.
“We’re trying to make sure that we make it very clear that all these projects that the people have spoken very strongly on … need to move forward,” Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews said.
The legislation includes the extension of the city’s redevelopment plan to include “pass-through” monies to schools, the establishment of a Stadium Authority to own and manage the stadium, and an agreement between the authority and the redevelopment agency.
“It’s an important part of the project,” 49ers spokeswoman Lisa Lang said of the redevelopment funds. “We are expecting that investment to be there.”
For his part, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a self-described “big fan” of the 49ers, has expressed hope a new deal could be forged with 49ers owner Jed York to keep the team in The City. But he has also acknowledged “the economics of running a business.”
“I just want to situate ourselves as being open to them, and making sure they know they’ve got a strong fan supporter at City Hall,” Lee told The San Francisco Examiner earlier this month.
A meeting between Lee and York is still in the works, according to the Mayor’s Office.
“Santa Clara is our primary focus,” Lang said. “But we are still open to discussions with San Francisco if for some reason we’re unable to go forward with the Santa Clara site.”
San Francisco’s plan to redevelop the Hunter’s Point shipyard area includes space for a new 49ers stadium.