After hours of debate, the Santa Clara city council voted at 1:30 a.m. to approve a controversial $937 million stadium plan to lure the San Francisco 49ers to the South Bay, 5-2. But team president Jed York says he wasn't worried through the hours-long public debate. NBC Bay Area interviewed York on his plans.
NBC: Were you nervous at all that night? Did you feel at some point, "Maybe we’re not gonna get this done?"
York: No, I mean, I think when you have a hundred or so speakers and at least 85 were pro studium, you felt a good feeling in the room, there was a strong presence for the 49ers. We're very excited that five of the seven council members want this thing to move forward.
NBC: Let’s talk some dollar amounts here. Is a billion-dollar stadium necessary?
York: Construction in the Bay Area is going to be much more expensive than anywheree else. So if you were to take the Cowboys’ stadium and bring it here, it would be significantly more expensive than what they’re paying for it in Texas. We wanted to make sure that this was a stadium that fans could come to and enjoy and feel like they’re at a football game, and I think some of of the newer stadiums have lost that feeling.
NBC: I know prices will go up each year, but would there be a significant increase in the last season at Candlestick and their first season at a new park?
York: It depends on where you’re sitting. I mean obviously we dont have club seats at Candlestick today so that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.
NBC: It is the San Francisco 49ers, and I know Mayor Gavin Newsom doesn’t want the team leaving the city it’s named after. Are you sill talking with Newsom?
York: We will keep all of our options open, anywhere in the Bay Area. We want to make sure that if somehting happens in Santa Clara that we do have alternative plans. The mayor has come a long way with getting a lot of money for cleanup in Hunter's Point. Our first option right now is to be looking at Candlestick as a remodal.
We're even looking whether the Raiders are doing something in Oakland. If we’re going to consider moving to Oakland, we would certainly talk to the Raiders and see if there was an ability to share a stadium with them. Obviously we are moving the ball forward in Santa Clara. There’s an option for a second team in Santa Clara in the termsheet.
Click on the video to see NBC Bay Area's complete interview with York.