What a week to make this announcement.
Just 4 days before the New York Giants and the New England Patriots meet for Super Bowl XLVI, NFL owners approved a $200 million loan to help the San Francisco 49ers build a new stadium in Santa Clara, CA. This comes a few months after the city approved an $850 million loan of the estimated $1 billion total cost for the new facility.
This seems to be the last financial hurdle on their way to breaking ground in the South Bay. There is however legal opposition from a group of residents called Santa Clara Plays Fair, whom object to the amount of money being ponied up by the city.
It seems rather fitting that this announcement be made during the Super Bowl week circus. The city of Indianapolis and their stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, are examples of how the NFL rewards teams for constructing new, state-of-the-art facilities. Just a few years ago the idea of a Super Bowl being held in Nap Town seemed out of the question. Now, because of a stadium that Stadium Journey deemed the best of 2011, Indianapolis is reaping the rewards with an influx of visitors from all over the nation. You can be sure Santa Clara and the 49ers are thinking about a Super Bowl of their own in the not so distant future.
49ers CEO Jed York confirms the team will, "definitely be in by 2015".
The last Super Bowl hosted in the Bay Area was at Stanford Stadium, prior to its own renovation, in 1985. Super Bowl XIX pitted the 49ers against the Miami Dolphins.
The 49ers have played their home games in San Francisco since 1946 and Candlestick Park since 1971.