49ers break ground on new stadium in Santa Clara

  • San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, listens as team owner Jed York speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site for the 49ers' new NFL football stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, April 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SANTA CLARA — Jed York stuck a gold shovel in the ground, planted his right foot on top and took a ceremonial step to plant the San Francisco 49ers — and the NFL — into Silicon Valley.

So long, San Francisco.

Under clear skies and a setting sun behind the mountains towering in the distance, the 49ers CEO and Santa Clara leaders made history at 6:53 p.m. local time, touching off a confetti-filled and champagne-flowing celebration on the future 50-yard line that took parts of three decades to make happen.

"I see a team building with a shovel in one hand and a sword in the other," a loud and proud 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh declared to a crowd of about 3,000 fans, team executives and past and present players.

The move some 40 miles south of Candlestick Park sets the stage for the NFL's debut in the technology-rich region.

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