49ers

Santa Clara Council Approves Financing Plan For 49ers Stadium

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Artist’s rendering of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. (SF 49ers)

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SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The Santa Clara City Council approved a financing plan for the construction of the new 49ers stadium Tuesday night.

In a unanimous decision, the council voted for the disposition and development agreement, a legal contract between the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and the 49ers Stadium Company, or Stadco, that outlines the responsibility of the parties involved, in addition to finances.

Assistant City Manager Carol McCarthy deemed the move an important accomplishment.

“We think it’s a key indication that this project is moving forward on time,” McCarthy said before the meeting.

The council considered a preliminary financing plan that includes commitment letters from three financial institutions—Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank—for the construction of the $1.02 billion stadium.

The three banks have agreed to loan the city $850 million, the majority of which the city is planning to pay back with revenues from the stadium, including ticket sales, naming rights, the team’s rent, concessions and luxury suites.

So far, the 49ers have sold nearly $200 million in luxury suites for the new stadium.

The rest of the funding is expected to come from a $150 million contribution from the National Football League, up to $40 million from the city’s redevelopment agency, and $35 million from a 2 percent hotel tax that will be established at nine hotels in the vicinity of the theme park. The 49ers will contribute $30 million a year to lease the stadium.

The council was also scheduled Tuesday to consider the proposed transfer of ownership of the Great America theme park lease to San Francisco real estate firm JMA Ventures, but Cedar Fair Entertainment, the Ohio-based company that owns Great America, last week announced it would retain ownership of the park.

The company has also dropped a lawsuit filed two years ago against the city of Santa Clara after reaching a long-term agreement on construction issues and parking related to the stadium project.

The city owns the land the park sits on and has been leasing it to Cedar Fair for $5.3 million annually since 2006.

Next spring, the council is expected to consider the final finance plan, development budget, and stadium lease, as well as the ground lease between the Stadium Authority and the city.

Construction of the 68,000-seat stadium is set to begin next year and finish by the 2015 season.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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