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NFL OFFSEASON/PRESEASON 2010


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Santa Clara Voters Appear To Approve 49ers Stadium

 

An artist's rendering of the proposed 49ers stadium in Santa Clara.

SF 49ers

 

49ers_stadium_staclara.jpg

 

 

numSlides of totalImages Related LinksView The Proposed Stadium

Complete California & Bay Area Election Results

A measure to lease land to the San Francisco 49ers for a new stadium in Silicon Valley appears to have passed

 

With the votes from all the precincts counted, more than 11,000 voters, or just under 60 percent, cast their ballots in favor or Measure J. Less than 8,000, or about 40 percent, opposed it.

 

But Santa Clara County elections officials say more than 90,000 provisional and absentee ballots still need to be counted by Friday.

 

The 49ers already were celebrating a victory, having made no secret about their desire to move from their longtime home at San Francisco's Candlestick Park to a new, $937 million stadium about 45 miles to the south in Silicon Valley.

 

"I think this is a very, very big day, not just for the 49ers but for the NFL," 49ers team president Jed York told reporters on Wednesday afternoon, hailing the preliminary results of the vote.

 

York called the apparent passage "a giant step," noting the difficulty of getting stadiums approved anywhere in the country. He said the next step was putting together the financing.

 

The team and the National Football League have agreed to contribute nearly $500 million, and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and the city of Santa Clara would foot the rest of the bill, according to York.

 

But San Francisco city officials were still holding out hope for keeping the team, with Mayor Gavin Newsom saying that the Santa Clara financing plan was "built on shaky economic ground." He predicted the project was destined to fall apart.

 

Newsom said San Francisco was forging ahead with its redevelopment plans for Hunters Point, where Candlestick is located, which include the possibility of a new stadium there.

 

"When the Santa Clara plan falls apart, San Francisco stands ready to welcome its 49ers home," Newsom said.

 

The 49ers have played in San Francisco since the franchise was established more than 60 years ago and have called Candlestick Park their home since the early 1970s.

 

Opponents of Measure J had warned that while a stadium in Santa Clara might make money for the team, it would be a bad financial deal for the city.

 

Proponents countered that the deal would create thousands of new jobs for local workers and millions of dollars for schools and Santa Clara's general fund.

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