In what the 49ers called "a positive first step," a Sacramento Superior Court judge today ordered Santa Clara County to hold $30 million of disputed funds until a Tuesday hearing. The 49ers filed suit against the county Wednesday, and the request for a temporary restraining order was the first step.
The $30 million originally was earmarked toward the 49ers' $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara. In June 2010, voters approved the allocation of redevelopment funds for the project. After that point, however, the state scrapped redevelopment agencies and put counties in control of their funds. Last week, a county board that oversees property tax from redevelopment zones announced it would rather spend the $30 million elsewhere, such as on education.
The 49ers now will challenge that move in court. The team used the promise of the redevelopment funds to help secure the bank loans that make up the bulk of the stadium funding. The 49ers stressed that the dispute will not affect the construction time table. They plan to open the new stadium in 2014.
"The stadium is a public-private partnership success story," said CFO Larry MacNeil in a release. "The cash advanced by the 49ers, backed by the RDA commitment, leveraged hundreds of millions in new funding to create one of the largest construction projects in the state. After just a few months it has created several hundred jobs, provided a positive regional economic impact and funding for the Santa Clara School district. By this fall, there will be 1,000 workers on this job."
-- Matt Barrows