National Football League owners approved a $200 million loan that will help cover construction costs for the San Francisco 49ers’ proposed $1 billion Silicon Valley stadium.
The 49ers are the first NFL franchise to receive support from a new stadium fund included in the collective bargaining agreement signed last year by owners and players. Approval of the loan came yesterday at an NFL owners meeting in Indianapolis.
“With the NFL’s muscle now behind the new stadium, we are moving forward,” 49ers Chief Executive Officer Jed York said in a statement released by the team. “I expect an official groundbreaking ceremony very soon.”
The 49ers said the new 68,500-seat stadium in Santa Clara, California, will cost about $1 billion. York said in a conference call last month that he expects the stadium to debut for the 2015 NFL season.
In December, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority unanimously approved an $850 million construction loan for the stadium. Santa Clara voters approved a ballot measure in June 2010 that authorized the city to lease land for a stadium next to the Great America amusement park.
The 49ers now play their home games at 51-year-old Candlestick Park, where power failures led to two delays of a Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in December. Santa Clara is about 45 miles south of San Francisco.
“Today’s vote is an important milestone for the 49ers and their fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released yesterday by the 49ers. “This step will allow the 49ers to move forward toward making the dream of a new stadium a reality.”
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