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Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Team hopes to open stadium in 2014

ESPN.com news services

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 49ers moved a step closer to leaving their longtime San Francisco home after residents in the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara voted in favor of a new stadium for the NFL team.

"For almost a decade and a half, the San Francisco 49ers and our faithful fans have dreamed about playing at home in a world-class stadium, and now those dreams are closer to reality," 49ers president and CEO Jed York said in a statement released by the team. "We can now proceed with our plans to build the premier, open-air sports and entertainment venue in the world."

York We can now proceed with our plans to build the premier, open-air sports and entertainment venue in the world.

-- 49ers president and CEO Jed York

The team said that it hopes to begin construction on a new stadium in 2012, once project approvals and financing plans are finalized, with the goal of playing in their new home in 2014.

Once it begins playing in the new stadium, the team said its name will remain the San Francisco 49ers.

"We recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done, and it is now our responsibility to finish the job by delivering on the remainder of the plan," York said in the statement. "But, the best fans in the NFL deserve the best stadium, and our new home will continue to make them proud to cheer on the San Francisco 49ers for generations to come."

The 49ers have played in San Francisco since the franchise was established more than 60 years ago and have called Candlestick Park their home since the early 1970s. They have won five Super Bowls during their stay.

By approving Measure J, voters in Santa Clara signed off on a plan by the team to build the 68,500-seat stadium in the city.

Under preliminary terms with the team, the city and area hotels would contribute $114 million to the $937 million project next to Great America theme park.

Team officials spent almost $4 million in support of Measure J.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.