Niners show Santa Clara officials plans for new $937 million stadium

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ersunveiled design details on their proposed $937 million stadium, which would seat 68,500 and include solar panels and a green roof, as they move forward with plans to relocate to the South Bay city of Santa Clara.

Team officials presented the details to the Santa Clara City Council on Tuesday, saying the stadium would allow more fans to be close to the field with expanded lower-bowl seating. The upper deck also would be close to the field because of suites and clubs being stacked on one side instead of wrapped around the facility.

The stadium, scheduled to open in 2014, would accommodate up to 75,000 people for big events such as the Super Bowl.

Whether the field at the new stadium would be grass or artificial turf has yet to be decided, 49ers spokesman Steve Fine said.

"The goal of the design was to create a true community asset for the city of Santa Clara," Fine said, noting that the stadium also would include more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space that could be used for other events.

Last month, Santa Clara officials agreed to preliminary terms with the team for a stadium on part of the parking lot of the Great America theme park. The city would cover about 10 percent of the project's costs under that deal. The bulk of the remaining funding would come from the 49ers and the NFL.

A citywide ballot measure on the stadium proposal is expected to go before voters next year.

Santa Clara city spokesman Dan Beerman said the presentation was well received. City officials are considering March 2, April 13 or June 8 as possible dates for the ballot measure, he said.

An environmental impact report is expected in the next few weeks.

The 49ers announced in 2006 that they had abandoned a decade-long attempt to build a stadium and a commercial and residential development on Candlestick Point, their San Francisco home since 1971, and were committed to moving 45 miles south to Santa Clara. Team officials cite transportation challenges and the prospect of a decade of construction for their decision to give up on Candlestick Point.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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