NFL officials tour proposed 49ers stadium sites
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- National Football League executives on Tuesday toured a Silicon Valley site where the 49ers want to build a new stadium, a day after San Francisco's mayor gave his pitch to keep the team in the city.
Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan and team owner John York and his son, Jed, escorted NFL executives Neil Glat and Eric Grubman on a walk from the 49ers headquarters to the team's preferred site near a theme park and the city's convention center.
"This site, we believe, would give the fans a great game-day experience and that's what it's all about: doing what's best for the 49ers and doing what's best for the fans," Mahan said.
The new stadium is expected to cost $854 million, and 49ers executives have said they plan to ask the NFL for a $150 million loan to complete the project because a fund the league once had to help finance stadiums is depleted.
The 49ers want to build a new home venue because Monster Park, the San Francisco stadium where the team now plays, is outdated and the team does not think the site is suitable for what it has in mind.
On Monday, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom briefed the league officials on the city's proposal to build a new stadium at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard along San Francisco Bay, a federal Superfund site long plagued by toxic pollution.
City officials have said the shipyard can be cleaned up in time to open a new stadium in 2012.
After Tuesday's tour, Glat called the Santa Clara site "beautiful" and "very doable for an NFL facility" but said he didn't want to compare it to Hunters Point.
"Every site is different and every site has different potential and different opportunities," he said.
Niners owners favor a Santa Clara theme park parking lot south of the city as their top location, although Great America park officials recently announced they oppose the plan over concerns it could hurt their business.
The NFL cannot directly dictate where the 49ers build a new stadium, but historically the league has lent teams money for new arenas. Three-quarters of NFL teams also must approve a team's move.
The 49ers announced in November they had abandoned a decade-long attempt to build a stadium at Candlestick Point, its San Francisco home since 1971, and planned to move to Santa Clara.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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