49ers.jpgThe National Football League today approved $200 million in funding for the construction of the $1 billion San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara.

The approval marks the final financing step before construction of the 68,000-seat stadium next to the Great America theme park can get under way later this year.

“This is a big step for the 49ers and for stadium development in California,” the team’s CEO Jed York told reporters today. “This is a very big vote of confidence from the league.”

Part of the loan is from the NFL and the remainder is from league owners, York said. He said it was the most funding that the NFL has approved for any team.

“This is obviously an unprecedented day for the San Francisco 49ers,” York said.

In December, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority unanimously approved an $850 million bank loan for the stadium.

Today, York said that the team would be “on the hook if the loans can’t be paid back.”
The 49ers are the first franchise to benefit from a new stadium fund that was added in the collective bargaining agreement with NFL players last year, according to the team.

York said that the stadium would open in time for the 2015 season.

Khalida Sarwari, Bay City News

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