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Santa Clara wants to fast-track new 49ers stadium

  • A newly posted sign is shown at the proposed site for the new San Francisco 49ers NFL football stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. ((AP Photo/Paul Sakuma))

SANTA CLARA — Santa Clara officials are expected to approve a construction contract for the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium that calls on the facility to open in 2014, a year earlier than originally projected.

City officials are scheduled to vote on the $878 million building contract Tuesday, the San Jose Mercury News reported (http://bit.ly/xDGYr0).

It requires construction to begin by July 1 and the stadium to be completed in time to open at the end of August 2014.

The contractor, Turner-Devcon, would be fined $6 million for each 49ers game missed after that deadline, plus daily fines that could hit $20 million, according to the newspaper. The penalties could cause the contractor to lose money on the project.

If Turner-Devcon completes the stadium in time for the 2014 preseason, it would earn a $5 million bonus.

"We're going to be playing football here in 2014," Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews said. "I have no doubt whatsoever."

The 49ers and Santa Clara had previously aimed to start construction in January 2013 and open the field for the 2015 season, but the NFL awarded $200 million for the project last week. That was the last piece of funding needed for construction to begin after the team and city officials secured $850 million in bank loans in December.

Under the contract being considered, Turner-Devcon would earn 4 percent of the total contract award, or about $35 million.

Its fee was the lowest offer the 49ers received.

Turner-Devcon is a partnership of two firms — New York City-based Turner Construction, which has worked on NFL stadium projects for the Green Bay Packers and other teams, and Milpitas-based Devcon Construction.

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Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

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