The San Francisco 49ers front office has been plenty busy negotiating contract extensions with Justin Smith and Greg Roman, but the team has had plenty of other business. The 49ers will move into Levi's Stadium in a little over a year from now, and there is money to be raised!
Earlier this week, the 49ers announced a new partnership with Yahoo!, covering online sports content, social networking, and photo and video sharing. This is one of many partnerships that will help pay for the now $1.3 billion stadium. More importantly, the 49ers and the stadium authority are doing a good job selling tickets. According to team President Gideon Yu, the stadium has sold more than 80% of seats and suites (see video below). Yu also pointed out that the top of line options (suites for $500,000 a year over a 10-year contract) had all sold outs months ago.
This comes three months after word came out that they had surpassed 75% of sales. At that time, the San Jose Mercury News reported that 80% of club seats, 73% of reserved seats and just under 50% of suites had been sold. With 80% of all seats AND suites, the 49ers are getting close to wrapping this up.
This all comes as the price tag for Levi's Stadium will reportedly climb by $100 million to $1.27 billion. The 49ers told the Mercury News that the increase was due to unspecified elements to "enhance the fan experience", as opposed to general cost overruns. The 49ers are reportedly set to pay for this at no cost to Santa Clara. The stadium was initially voted on at $937 million, but has climbed the last three years.
The biggest chunk paying for this stadium is a loan for $850 million the Santa Clara Stadium Authority took out. The 49ers will pay $24.5 million per year in rent to pay off the loans. Originally the rent was set for $30 million, but according to the Mercury News, the Authority does not need to take on as much debt. The extensive ticket sales have been key as it sounds like they are bringing in more money a lot quicker than previously expected. They also recently refinanced the loan to lock in a lower interest rate. Hoo-ray for banking!