Opening Kickoff Tonight In Santa Clara Stadium Deal

This is a big day in the effort to bring the San Francisco 49ers to the city of Santa Clara.

Tonight, Santa Clara city leaders are set to make a key vote on the deal by handing the plan over voters in the city in 2010.

The earliest the 49ers could play in Santa Clara is 2014.

The deal has the city contributing $114 million in public funds towards a $937 million stadium on a plot of land, the city would continue to own, near Great America.

The Mercury News broke down the city's portion of the deal this way:

  • $42 million in redevelopment funds
  • $17 million already earmarked for a parking garage
  • $20 million to relocate an electrical substation
  • $35 million from new tax base from hotel rooms

Tonight's meeting comes after the 49ers last week sweetened the financing terms of the deal.  The team is promising to pay for all cost overruns during the 40 to 60 year lease.

City officials say the stadium would generate hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue, but critics worry about cost overruns and traffic problems.

The idea of the Raiders sharing the stadium is still a viable option apparently.

In the days since the Santa Clara plan came out, two East Bay papers editorialized on the topic of the Raiders moving to Santa Clara. And both concluded -- we swear we aren't making this up -- that they think the move makes good sense and the Raiders ought to pursue it.

The Oakland Tribune actually published a piece entitled "Sharing Stadium Not Such A Bad Idea". And yes, the Oakland Tribune is referring to sharing a stadium that is not located in or even that close to Oakland. Then the Modesto Bee went so far as to say, "Hopefully, if (the Raiders) get a chance to climb aboard the train to Santa Clara, they'll hop on."

It's no secret that the NFL would like to see the franchises share a stadium. And when asked about it by the Oakland Trib, Raiders' PR executive Amy Trask said, "We are exploring — and keeping an open mind with respect to — all opportunities to create a world-class stadium for our fans and our team, and this includes keeping an open mind with respect to a shared stadium."

It's rare you hear a Raiders' PR executive Amy Trask sound so enthusiastic about following recommendations from NFL league offices.

Al Davis is already on record as being receptive sharing a stadium. Sports Business Daily quotes Davis as saying that he would just "have to know what the stadium is and who's going to pay for it."

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