49ers Sell $138M in Nonexistent Luxury Boxes

By Chris Roberts
|  Saturday, Jul 2, 2011  |  Updated 7:17 AM PDT
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The 49ers haven't even built it yet -- yet moneyed people are lining up for the opportunity to one day come to the $1 billion Santa Clara football palace.

The team sold $138 million worth of luxury suites in the as-yet un-built Santa Clara football stadium, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The stadium, approved by Santa Clara voters in June, will be finished sometime after construction begins in January 2013. And it will be built and it will be finished. The sale of the luxury boxes is proof that the project is going to happen despite a stagnant economy, the possibility of a lost NFL season thanks to the impending NFL lockout and the state's dissolution of local redevelopment agencies, which were crucial to the stadium's financing.

"These remarkable sale results should answer anyone who asks if the stadium in Santa Clara will be a reality," Mayor Jamie Matthews said Thursday, according to the newspaper. Likewise the team released the funding results -- a rare move for the tight-lipped NFL franchise -- in order to "demonstrate to the fans that this is real," according to Paraag Marathe, the 49ers' Chief Operating Officer

The luxury suit sales doubles the money raised thus far, and puts the city and the team about one-fourth of the way towards reaching a $987 million funding goal.

The team would not say exactly who bought boxes, for how long and how much they cost, leaving the newspaper to speculate: the boxes could cost as much as $1 million for a long term commitment, meaning they could cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per season.

But many fine suites are still available, Marathe said. Now to find a quarterback...

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