A Sacramento Superior Court Judge granted the 49ers a temporary restraining order Tuesday afternoon, freezing $30 million in potential stadium funds. Following the dissolution of the Santa Clara redevelopment agency, the 49ers advanced $30 million in funding, with plans to be repaid by Santa Clara. The Santa Clara Oversight Board decided the money would be better spent on various agencies and passed a resolution to withhold re-payment of that $30 million to the 49ers.
From a purely public relations standpoint, the 49ers are in a tough position. If the money did not go to the 49ers as intended, it would reportedly be distributed to schools in Santa Clara. In reality, the Oversight Board could distribute it to any Santa Clara government agency, which raises some questions marks. However, as far as the public is concerned, the money was likely intended for schools. This puts the 49ers behind the eight ball when it comes to the ball public relations battle.
At the same time, the 49ers cannot simply roll over on this money. Although the Oversight Board is not an agency that can start taking other huge chunks of funds away, it makes a certain measure of sense for the 49ers to stand their ground when it comes to voter-approved funds.
The process is not complete because this restraining order is still only temporary. The two sides will meet before Judge Lloyd Connelly on July 27 to present evidence as to which side is the rightful owner of the funds. The 49ers stadium construction continues in spite of this speed bump. The money is but a small portion of the required funds and is something that would need to be made up on the back end of the financing.