The San Francisco 49ers and their fans desperately want a new venue to play their home games each season and a big step forward was made on Tuesday in the negotiations. After the Santa Clara Stadium Authority voted unanimously (7-0) to accept the terms of a $850 million dollar loan, a few details were released on the deal and when fans can expect construction to start.
The approval of the loan and a 40-year lease agreement marks two of the final financial steps for the new stadium. Make-ready work at the construction site adjacent to Great America Park will begin next month and the official groundbreaking is expected in the spring of 2012.
The $850 million will be loaned to the Stadium Authority and the 49ers Stadium Development Company, and, as required by the recent ballot measure, will have no impact on the City's General Fund. Revenues from the sale of naming rights, Stadium Builders Licenses (SBLs), suites and additional sources will be used to repay the loan.
Some believe the grand opening could be as early as the start of the 2014 season, although 2015 is probably the more realistic option right now. And as for what fans can expect once the stadium is built:
The new stadium in Santa Clara is estimated to cost $1 billion. Officials expect it to be a landmark for Silicon Valley in addition to its role as the new home to the San Francisco 49ers. The 1.85 million square foot facility will seat 68,500 and feature 165 luxury suites and 9,000 club seats.
Between the stadium itself, the parking structures and a staff to occupy the venue, it's certainly going to cost a pretty penny for the franchise. That being said, it is an exciting time to be a 49ers fan and a new stadium could potentially bring a Super Bowl to the Bay Area. That has to be at the forefront of everyone's minds right now.
For more on the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.