The San Francisco 49ers may be moving to a billion-dollar stadium in Santa Clara, but first the plans are going before a judge who will hear arguments regarding financing for the complex and whether it should be subject to voter approval.
Opponents of the new 68,500-seat stadium adamantly believe that a $850 million construction loan is far too risky for Santa Clara. The $1.02 billion stadium would be built on land that is currently designated parking space for the Great America theme park and construction could begin as early as this summer with completion expect sometime before the 2014 NFL season. Loans made for the stadium would be repaid from revenue sources such as naming rights, concession rights, licenses to buy seat tickets and luxury suites and even non-football related events. If built, Stadium Authority would own the stadium and during football season the San Francisco 49ers would pay $30 million per year to rent and operate the facility. The potential income from naming rights, seat licenses and suites is around $425 million by 2015, according to Goldman Sachs, and any remaining payments would be need to be paid prior to September 1, 2015.
Supporters on the other hand say that they have worked to make sure that residents would not face any kind of liabilities related to the stadium. Many city council members support the project.
Santa Clara Vice-Mayor, Lisa Gilmor, noted that the Stadium Authority was set up to protect the city and insulate its residents from any risks or obligations related to the stadium.
The 49ers want to leave their old stadium, Candlestick Park in San Francisco. On Monday a judge will be presented with both sides of the argument as part of a lawsuit filed by the Stadium Authority against Santa Clara Plays Fair seeking to block any public vote.