The 49ers took a major step toward a planned southern migration Tuesday when Santa Clara voters agreed to open their public purse to help build a football stadium for the franchise.
The vote was a major blow to San Francisco officials’ efforts to convince the team to continue playing in the city it’s called home for more than 50 years.
If it relocates to Santa Clara, the team intends to continue playing as the San Francisco 49ers.
Residents of the Silicon Valley city voted to approve plans to provide more than $100 million to help build a $937 million stadium in an overflow parking lot of the Great America theme park.
The stadium is planned to be built next to the team’s training and administration headquarters amid a large Peninsula fan base.
Santa Clara’s Measure J provides stadium-construction subsidies and approves a lease agreement.
The 49ers, tired of playing at the decrepit Candlestick Park, plan to build the stadium in time for the 2014 season. The NFL has raised the prospect that a Super Bowl might be awarded to the venue.
Space in San Francisco is set aside for a new stadium in a redevelopment project planned at the shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard near the Bayview district.
Master developer Lennar Corp. offered $100 million from redevelopment profits to help build the stadium at the site, which would be leased for $1 a year.
But the 49ers have repeatedly rejected the offer, pointing to issues such as the site’s isolation and its lack of existing roads and other infrastructure.