New Stadium Site for 49ers Receives NFL Chief’s Blessing

Sun January 21, 2007 - West Edition
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The Silicon Valley site favored by the 49ers for building a new stadium received a positive review from the National Football League’s commissioner, though the franchise has not ruled out staying in San Francisco, according to the team’s co-owner.

During an October visit, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell toured the empty parking lot near an amusement park in Santa Clara where the team hopes to relocate and said, “This is where your stadium should be,” 49ers co-owner Denise DeBartolo York told the San Jose Mercury News.

At the same time, the team is working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein to review other possible sites in San Francisco, York said.

But San Francisco officials “have not come back with anything that’s a viable alternative” 49ers spokeswoman Lisa Lang said Dec. 28.

The 49ers announced in November that the team had abandoned a decade-long attempt to build a stadium and a massive commercial-residential development on Candlestick Point, its San Francisco home since 1971.

The team said at the time it was committed to moving to Santa Clara. The 49ers’ plans for funding the stadium, expected to cost between $600 and $800 million, are due to be presented to the Santa Clara City Council in January 2007.

Team owners are not counting on support for public funding for the new stadium and planned to make a “significant” contribution to its construction, York told the Mercury News.

The decision to change cities was prompted by the Santa Clara site’s accessibility and by the migration of the 49ers’ fan base south of the city, York said.

Approximately 9 percent of 49ers season ticket holders live in San Francisco, while some 30 percent live in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties combined.

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