Venue News: After NFC Championship Loss, 49ers May Win Stadium Bid

The San Francisco 49ers may have fallen just short of a sixth Super Bowl appearance, but the team’s return to the playoffs for the first time since 2003 may have given the 49ers the momentum they need for their proposed stadium to become reality. The Santa Clara project has been more than five years in the making, so much of the groundwork was laid before new coach Jim Harbaugh engineered this season’s turnaround, but the timing could not have been better. Santa Clara officials announced in December that they had secured $850 million in loan commitments from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and U.S. Bank to cover most of the estimated $1 billion construction cost. The rest of the money would come from the NFL, a hotel tax and possibly redevelopment funds from Santa Clara. The 49ers have agreed to pay $30 million in yearly rent and any cost overruns…

…For months now, the Vikings ownership group has clearly favored the Arden Hills site as their chosen location for a stadium, and while it still remains No. 1 on their list, it appears the team doesn’t believe Ramsey County can handle the finances necessary to get the $1.1 billion stadium built. Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley made that very clear Thursday when he said, “Arden Hills is on life support” as far as a stadium site goes. Bagley said it appears that Minneapolis, with three possible stadium sites proposed, is in a better position to finance the stadium. Meanwhile, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf talked to Governor Mark Dayton on Thursday to try to encourage the governor to get something going with the Legislature this week. Apparently, some of the key members of the Legislature have been meeting trying to find a solution to the Vikings stadium problem…

…The Oakland A’s contract at the Coliseum in Oakland expires at the end of the 2013 season, and even if Major League Baseball decides to grant the wish of team co-owner Lew Wolff to move the team to San Jose, they won’t have a ballpark to play in for several years. That means the A’s will be in Oakland until at least 2015 — if not much longer — giving the city and county a bargaining chip when they start talking about extending the Coliseum contract. The current contract lease extension was signed in 2006 when Wolff was in talks with Fremont to build a ballpark there by 2011. The A’s have control over concessions during all events, as well as parking and pouring rights, a fee beverage companies play for access to fans at facilities. It’s worth as much as $4.5 million at the Coliseum. The team also keeps all revenue from their games and nearly three-quarters of money from concessions, which is above industry standards of 50%…

…Alabama State University’s football stadium project is on pace to be $12 million over budget, and university officials acknowledged this week that they will have to go back to the bond market to secure more funds in order to complete the project. The original projected cost for the 22,500-seat stadium was $50 million, which university officials procured when they went to the bond market two years ago. According to ASU president William Harris, the major issue causing the overrun is changes to the original plans, including the expansion of the multi-purpose facility and locker rooms. ASU officials acknowledged that some of the changes could have been avoided had the school originally waited to go to the bond market until they were more certain about the cost of each phase.

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