Venue News & Notes: The Santa Clara 49ers?

After a marathon meeting this week, the city council of Santa Clara, CA, approved a proposal to build a $937 million stadium for the San Francisco 49ers. The next step in moving the team into a new home is a vote by residents, which will likely come next spring. “It’s very simple,” 49ers President Jed York told the council. “It doesn’t matter if you are a football fan or not. It doesn’t matter if you are a 49ers fan or not. This deal will make Santa Clara a better place to live, to work and to play.”

Santa Clara’s City Council, after a marathon meeting, gave the green light this week to a proposal to build a $937 million stadium for the San Francisco 49ers in the South Bay city. The council voted 5-2 to advance the deal, paving the way for it to go before voters in the spring. “I have no fears that, going forward, this project will be a tremendous success,” Mayor Patricia Mahan said. “It’s up to the voters now.” Residents will likely vote next spring on the complex deal, which calls for $79 million in public funds plus $35 million from a new tax on hotel guests at eight nearby hotels. The rest of the money would come from the team, hoped-for NFL funding, naming rights, concession licenses, and other sources. Niners officials haven’t opened an official campaign committee, and Wednesday’s media blitz wasn’t specifically designed for the upcoming ballot measure, team spokesman Lisa Lang said…

…Discussions about building an arena for sports, concerts, and conventions in downtown Kalamazoo, MI, have picked up — and with an interesting twist. The president of Western Michigan University’s board of trustees, Ken Miller, said Tuesday night that the school would consider moving all of its home men’s basketball and hockey games to the new venue. Voters will have a chance to approve or reject the action in November. But the idea that WMU would move its two winter revenue sports off-campus is spurring controversy…

…Madison Square Garden’s renovation will cost more and take longer than originally planned. The owner of the nation’s busiest sports arena says the entire project will cost more than $500 million, and the complete renovation will be finished by the start of the 2012-13 NBA and NHL seasons. Officials had hoped to have the renovation of all levels done a year earlier. They unveiled new drawings and mockups of luxury suites for the 41-year-old arena. The plans include a 5,000-sq.-ft. “supersuite” for entertaining up to 300 people…

…What remains of Detroit’s historic Tiger Stadium will be demolished since the city rejected a $33.4 million proposal by a nonprofit group to preserve and renovate the old ballpark. The Economic Development Corp. board voted 7-1 this week to authorize the complete demolition of the stadium, said Waymon Guillebeaux, EVP of project management for the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., a public-private group that staffs the EDC…

…Hopes that the Tampa Bay Rays could build a baseball stadium at a Pinellas County, FL, landfill site have been dealt a blow, county officials say. Environmental engineers say building a ballpark at the shuttered Toytown landfill, one of several potential sites on a list of possible stadium locations, would require pilings to be driven so deep that they would come close to the limestone and fresh-water aquifer that feeds into Tampa Bay, the St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday.

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