SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – Santa Clara is close to committing some $10 million in current and future tax funds to advance plans for a San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara – the most concrete sign yet that plans for the almost $1 billion facility are moving forward.

”This will be the first time that the Stadium Authority has invested any money into the project, and as you know, the Stadium Authority was formed specifically to create a firewall between the city and its assets, and the team and the construction,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Matthews said that the $10 million will be spent on stadium make-ready work.

”There’s a lot that needs to be done before you just start to build the stadium, and one is just infrastructure,” said Matthews. “So we have water lines, we have sewer lines, we have storm lines, and all of those have to be moved out of the footprint of the building so that the grand opening of the stadium can happen on time.”

Preparation work is scheduled to begin in two months, with the 68,500-seat stadium slated to open in time for the 2015 season.

Santa Clara is expected to borrow at least $6 million from the team as it currently does not have the tax funds to pay for the prep work on its own.

Critics maintain the city is committing too much to the project and cast doubt whether the 49ers and the city will be able to secure the rest of the funding to build the stadium.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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