Santa Clara voters pass measure for 49ers stadium

The San Francisco 49ers will not be headed to Los Angeles. Or Oakland.

That is because the club apparently has won maybe its biggest game of the year with a victory in Tuesday’s election in Santa Clara, Calif. Measure J has passed meaning voters have approved $114 million in tax money to go toward a new stadium for the franchise that will be built adjacent to a Great America amusement park. The plan is for the 49ers to open play in their new $937 million stadium in 2014 and get out of dilapidated Candlestick Park.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, results were tricking in late Tuesday night, but a “crush of mail ballots” reported just after the polls closed was enough alone to signal a victory for the 49ers, who spent $4 million campaigning for the issue. A loss would have sent the franchise reeling and back to the drawing board without a solid plan.

The 49ers have their headquarters in Santa Clara, and officials there championed the cause because no tax money from the general fund will be used. Some of it will be raised through a hotel tax. The city has guarantees that the 49ers will pick up the tab for cost overruns that can frequently be associated with such massive projects.

Interestingly, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has said that the stadium in Santa Clara doesn’t necessarily mean the 49ers will be moving their act to the South. He said the city will move forward for plans to redevelop the land at Hunters Point Shipyard and build a 69,000-seat stadium there. San Francisco can talk about keeping the 49ers but until it has a stadium for the team to play in, it looks like the franchise is committed to making the jump to Santa Clara.

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