With the National Football League approving a $200 million loan on Thursday toward the funding of a new stadium in Santa Clara, 49ers CEO Jed York called it, "a big step for stadium development in California."
In speaking with members of the media hours after the loan was approved by league owners in Indianapolis, site of Super Bowl XLVI, York said the allocation of funds from the NFL make the stadium's opening a reality.
"We haven't had a stadium built in California for decades," York said. "This is going to be a big thing for everybody."
The NFL's G-4 loan will give the 49ers the most support given to any team trying to build a new stadium. York pointed out the league's $300 million loan towards MetLife Stadium in New York, a stadium shared by two teams, the Jets and Giants.
With the loan, the 49ers now have all financing needed for construction to begin on the stadium. York also said there would be a groundbreaking ceremony soon. Currently, make ready work has begun at the site of the new stadium across the street from the team's training facility and headquarters in Santa Clara.
"Today's vote is an important milestone for the 49ers and their fans," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released by the team on Thursday. "It is a solid endorsement that adds to the strong support of the South Bay community. This step will allow the 49ers to move forward toward making the dream of a new stadium a reality."
With the Santa Clara Stadium Authority voting unanimously in December to approve an $850 million construction loan for the stadium, coupled with the NFL's $200 million loan, York and the 49ers now have all the funding needed.
"This is obviously an unprecedented day for the San Francisco 49ers," said York, who made a point to stress the stadium will be fairly priced for all 49ers fans.
"There's going to be affordable seats for everyone in this stadium," added York, who said the team is committed to meet face-to-face with 20,000 season-ticket holders this year to discuss pricing options for the new building.
"(We're) going through the process of allocating seats to current fans. Legends and the Santa Clara Stadium authority have put together a process to allow those folks to come down and have their seat, or a similar seat in the stadium," York further explained.
The goal is to make the stadium one of the most attractive destinations for sports and outdoor entertainment.
"There's going to be a lot of amenities that are going to make this the greatest outdoor entertainment experience in the world," York said. "If we weren't comfortable with that from a financial standpoint, we wouldn't move forward."
The 49ers are currently working with potential partners for a stadium naming rights deal. York believes it'll be easier to obtain now that the 49ers have the league's financial backing.
"Having full support from the NFL will make it much more likely we can get a new stadium naming rights deal done."
York also said the NFL's loan was not contingent on any other team sharing the stadium.
For more information on the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara, visit www.newsantaclarastadium.com for additional insight on the 1.85 million square foot facility that will seat approximately 68,500 and will feature 165 luxury suites and 9,000 club seats.