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Stadium Update as of September 1, 2012

Steel for stadium on the rise - The first steel beams forming the frame of the new stadium were set in place on July 30, 2012, marking another major step in the project construction. Approximately 18,000 tons of steel in total will support the 1.85 million square foot stadium. Fourteen thousand pieces of steel, the largest weighing 36,000 pounds, will be used. The four cranes being used for steel assembly were shipped from Austria, and each is able to lift 20,000 pounds, or the equivalent of five average size cars. There are only about 30 of these types of cranes currently in the USA, and the cranes can reach 338 feet at full height. The steel being used to build the stadium’s structural frame was Made in USA with 95% recycled material. The steel erection should be largely complete by year end. Other aspects of the stadium underway include the prefabrication of 2,000 pieces of precast concrete sections that will create the treads, risers, steps and stadium walls. A live webcast of stadium construction can be viewed from a link on the bottom portion of the City's website at

The Santa Clara Stadium, new home for the San Francisco 49ers, was designed by HNTB, and is being built by Turner/Devcon. The $1.2 billion venue seat approximately 68,500 and will feature an expected 165 luxury suites and 9,000 club seats. It was designed to be a multi-purpose facility with the flexibility to host a wide range of events including domestic and international soccer, college football, motocross, concerts and various civic events, and will be expandable for major events such as the Super Bowl. Other stadium construction facts: more than 3,000 foundation piles were drilled at an average depth of 55 feet; 50 miles of utilities, cabling and pipes have been laid underground; 17,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured, equivalent to the foundation slabs for 340 - 2,000 sq. ft. homes; and about 300 workers are currently on site, with that number projected to swell to 1,000 by the end of 2012. 

The 49er proposal for the Stadium, first introduced in 2006, resulted in one of the most complex public-private partnerships undertaken by the City of Santa Clara. Many of the most difficult issues to tackle had to do with how to protect the City’s General Fund and Utilities Funds from any liability for the construction and operation of the Stadium. New legally separate entities had to be established by both the City and the 49ers, with financing put in place for the $1.2 billion project from sources outside the City coffers.

Milestone actions by the City of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority include the following:

  • Approval of a ground lease between the Stadium Authority and the City of Santa Clara to allow the Stadium Authority to utilize the City land to construct the Stadium. The Stadium Authority will own the Stadium and will pay the City a base rent of $40 million over the 40-year lease term. In addition, the Stadium Authority will pay performance based rent equal to 50% of the net revenues from non-NFL events, projected to contribute an additional $155 million to the General Fund over the 40-year lease term. There will also be a surcharge on NFL tickets that is projected to generate up to $250,000 annually for City of Santa Clara youth and senior programs.
  • Approval of a Stadium lease between the 49ers affiliate organization, StadCo, and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority for the 49ers to play games in the Stadium. StadCo will lease the Stadium for six months each year for football season, and will pay facility rent to the Stadium Authority of approximately $30 million annually. The actual rent schedule will be set so that the Stadium Authority has sufficient total revenues to pay all of its operating expenses and debt service, as well as the rent it owes to the City under the ground lease.
  • Approval of a final development budget for the Stadium project of $1.177 billion, including $1.049 billion in development costs, $78 million in financing costs, and $50 million in additional technology and environmental sustainability allowances. This budget also includes about $155 million in tenant costs that will be paid directly by StadCo.
  • All legal documents, leases and loan approvals were recorded on Thursday, March 29, 2012, including construction loans to the Stadium Authority in amounts sufficient to cover all of the development costs. Debt service payments on these loans will be covered by Stadium Authority revenues (from Stadium Builders Licenses, naming rights and other revenue) received during the construction period, and by long term facility rent payments from StadCo to the Stadium Authority.
  • Stadium groundbreaking at the project site occurred on April 19, 2012

For more information, see

Fast Facts about the Stadium

  • 68,500 seats
  • Expandable to 75,000 seats for special events like the Super Bowl
  • WiFi and mobile connectivity throughout
  • 13,000 square feet of high definition video boards
  • Green and locally produced materials where possible, plus green roof and solar panels
  • First LEED Certified Stadium


Q: When will construction begin?
Site preparation work was initiated by the Stadium Authority this spring and the official groundbreaking ceremony was April 19. Construction is underway by Turner Devcon.

Q: When will the Stadium open?
The goal is to have the Stadium ready for the 2014 football season. Contractors have financial incentives to achieve this objective, and fines if they do not meet the target.

Q: Will Santa Clara residents get any priority or discounts in buying tickets for 49er games or other events?
No. Santa Clara residents, elected City officials and City staff have no special privileges. There is no City “suite” or “box seating” set aside for the City.  

Q: Will the Stadium be hiring?
During peak construction, more than a thousand workers will be on the site over a two-year period. More than 100 contractors and subcontractors, most of them local, will be hired for the project by Turner/Devcon. The amount of workers on site increases every month.  After the Stadium opens, it is estimated that hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs will be generated to manage and operate Stadium events.

Q: How much traffic will there be on game days?
The 49ers estimate 18,865 patron cars on game days, typically Sunday afternoons. There are approximately 21,000 parking spaces located within a short walking distance. The City is building a new 1,820-space parking garage on Tasman Drive to serve the Stadium, Santa Clara Convention Center and other nearby facilities. Public transit options will include buses, light rail, ACE trains, AMTRAK and Caltrain. Three regional freeways and as many as 13 access points are available within five miles of Santa Clara’s Entertainment District.

Q: How often will the Stadium be used for football games?
The Stadium will be used 10 to 12 times a year for 49er games. The Stadium can be used throughout the year on non-game days for concerts and special events.

Q: Will the Oakland Raiders also move to this Stadium?
It is a decision that would be made by the 49ers, the Raiders, the NFL and the Stadium Authority. None of those entities are publicly discussing the possibility at this time.

Timeline of Stadium Project

49ers announce Santa Clara is the first choice site for a new Stadium.

City Council adopts guiding principles to frame community discussion of the Stadium proposal and due diligence action items. Council meetings during the year include presentation of an economic study conducted by the 49ers about the potential benefits of a Stadium, confirmation of the potential positive financial impacts by City financial consultants, the launch of an in-depth feasibility study, and reports on financing options and public safety issues.

After review of a detailed feasibility study, the City enters into non-binding negotiations with the 49ers and begins preparation of an Environmental Impact Report. A term sheet identifies all of the major tasks that need to be accomplished for the City to move forward with negotiations.

A detailed Term Sheet is completed outlining the Stadium deal structure and defining commitments of all parties involved. It addresses major issues including the public/private partnership, governance, financing, construction cost responsibilities, operations budget, Stadium revenue, ground rent payments to the City’s General Fund, and other key issues.

Voters give majority support to the Stadium project in Measure J. The Community Facilities District, comprised of eight hotel properties close to the Stadium site, is established.

The Stadium Authority is created to separate the City from the liabilities and responsibilities of construction, ownership and operation of the Stadium. Centerplate, one of the nation’s leading food and beverage operators, is selected to provide comprehensive services at the new Stadium. HNTB, the Stadium architect chosen by the team, unveils its updated Stadium design. The Santa Clara Stadium Authority approves an $850 million construction loan for the project and site preparation work begins.

Site preparation work is completed including moving utilities out from under the Stadium footprint. Official groundbreaking held by 49ers on April 19. Stadium construction begins.

First 49er football game to be played in the new Stadium.

About the Stadium Authority

The Stadium Authority is a separate legal entity from the City of Santa Clara, created on Feb. 15, 2011 under the Government Code. It is the Stadium Authority, not the City, that is taking on the debt for construction of the Stadium. This protects the City’s General Fund and Utility Funds from having liability for any debts or obligations for the Stadium project. The Mayor and City Council serve as the Board of the Stadium Authority. The City Manager serves as the Executive Director.

The construction loans will be paid by the Stadium Authority from a variety of revenue sources including Stadium Builders Licenses (SBLs), naming rights for the Stadium, facility rental fees, ticket surcharges and 50% of revenues generated by non-NFL events held at the Stadium.

The Stadium Authority will also have access to $35 million of revenue for Stadium construction generated by bonds issued by the Community Facilities District, a special district formed in May of 2010 that includes eight hotel properties located close to the Stadium site. When the Stadium opens, guests staying at these hotels will pay an additional tax on their room charges and those revenues will be used to pay back the bond debt.

The 49ers will pay rent to the Stadium Authority that when added to Stadium Authority revenues, will be sized to cover all Stadium operating costs, long term Stadium debt, as well as the rent that the Stadium Authority owes the City for the use of the land.

If there are any cost overruns on the Stadium construction project in excess of the final approved budget, neither the Stadium Authority nor the City will be responsible. Those costs will be the responsibility of StadCo, a separate entity affiliated with the 49ers that will operate the Stadium during the six-month NFL season.

Last updated: 11/1/2012 10:26:36 AM