49ers unveil plans for new stadium
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers still don't know whether they will have the financing to build a new stadium near their practice facility in Santa Clara but were optimistic enough to unveil plans for one Tuesday.
If nothing else, the 49ers dream large.
Everything about the stadium, from the 165 luxury suites to a planned five-story photo of "The Catch," which sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in 1981, has been designed to make it a fan-friendly entertainment center.
The 49ers opened a preview center, at a cost of $2.5 million, last November to showcase the new stadium for prospective suite, club seat and season ticket holders.
"It was a work in progress until today," 49ers chief operating officer Paraag Marathe said.
In June 2010, Santa Clara voters passed a plan by the 49ers to build the 68,500-seat stadium. Under the agreement with the team, the city and area hotels would contribute $114 million to the $937 million project next to Great America theme park.
Jed York, president and CEO of the 49ers, said the team is still focused "100 percent" on the Santa Clara project. He is hoping to start construction in January 2013 and open the stadium for the 2015 season, although there's still a shortfall in cash.
The 49ers did move to clear one obstacle.
The York family is partnering with local real estate firm JMA Ventures to buy the Santa Clara theme park that had opposed the 49ers' new stadium plans.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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