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SANTA CLARA, CA-The Santa Clara City Council this week will receive an update on the draft environmental impact statement for a new NFL football stadium for the San Francisco 49ers. It will also receive a recommendation on whether it can move forward with non-competitive design-build work for the $937-million development deal.

The 68,500-seat stadium would be located next to the Santa Clara Convention Center, Great America Theme Park and the football team’s existing headquarters and training facility. The land would be leased from the city. Santa Clara voters will have the final say on the project sometime next year.

The 45-day deadline for comments on the draft environmental impact report was extended by a couple of weeks in early September but has now passed. The city and its consultant are currently responding to all of the agency and public comments received during the review period. Publication of the EIR, the comment letters and the written responses to those letters constitutes the Final EIR. The proposed final EIR is currently scheduled to go before the city’s planning commission next month for review and comment before being officially finalized by the City Council.

Deputy City Manager Carol McCarthy told GlobeSt.com last month that the extension was in response to a couple of agencies that asked for more time to review and comment on the document. “It’s not unusual for an EIR,” she said, “especially when it’s large.”

The City Council this week also will hear from its 17-member Charter Review Committee on whether existing City Charter language requiring competitive bidding for Public Works projects could be modified to allow for some focused, limited use of a design-build process not subject to competitive bidding in some or all of the construction of an NFL stadium. The Committee has determined that the City indeed has such authority under SB 43. The Committee also will recommend the use of the general contractor chosen by the Stadium Authority for the proposed new stadium.

The City and the 49ers began concurrently working on a disposition and development agreement in July. The financing agreement calls for the city to pay for up to $79 million and for eight nearby hotels to put up an additional $35 million by way of a voluntary room tax. The team agreed to pay for any construction cost overruns as well as any operational shortfall.

If voters sign off, the new stadium would rise on a 13.5-acre site auxiliary parking lot for Great America theme park. The stadium would be unique in that the luxury boxes–approximately 170-would be stacked on one side of the stadium in an eight-level building rising behind some 9,000 club seats.

Under the operating agreement the team would keep all revenue from ticket sales from games, ad revenue from NFL events, ticket premium fees for suite and club room use for non-NFL events, and revenue from the team store. The newly formed Santa Clara Stadium Authority would get revenue from naming rights; net revenue from concession sales and parking lots; and annual rent payments from the team that would total roughly $40 million over the life of the contract, which has an initial lease term of 40 years that may be extended by an additional 20 years.

If not approved by voters, the 49ers attention likely will shift back to San Francisco where the city, in partnership with Lennar, wants a new 49ers stadium at Hunter’s Point to replace Candlestick Park. Either way, the goal is to have the stadium ready for the 2014 NFL season. The team’s initial lease term at Candlestick ends after this season but the team holds three five-year extension options such that it could continue to play in its existing stadium through 2023.

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