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49ers New Stadium On The Fast Track

The 49ers have spent much of the last year working out the financing for their new football stadium, and the process more or less concluded with the announcement of $200 million in NFL G-4 funding. That, combined with the $850 million loans taken out last year and some additional funding, has put the 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority over the top in terms of financing the new stadium.

The aggressive financing also means the team and city are in a position where they expect the 49ers to kick off the 2014 season in the new stadium. Previously, some reportedly conservative estimates had 2014 as pie in the sky with 2015 being a little more realistic. The completed financing plan has construction beginning this summer and taking two years to wrap up.

While construction delays can still happen, the contract between the 49ers/Santa Clara and the development firm Turner-Devcon has financial penalties if the stadium is not ready in August 2014. The firm could be penalized $6 million for each 49ers game missed, plus daily fines that could hit $20 million. Additionally, there is a $5 million bonus if they finish the project on time.

The stadium deal features a contract price of roughly $878 million. Santa Clara officials believe that is particularly conservative number. While I do think the stadium can get done in time for the 2014 season, I wouldn't be surprised if some cost overruns show up. It seems like that is often the nature of such huge projects, but we'll wait and see.