San Francisco mayor: 49ers move to Santa Clara all but assured

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SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco's mayor will meet with the owner of the 49ers in a last-ditch attempt to keep the football team in the city but believes the franchise's move to a new stadium in Silicon Valley is all but assured.

Mayor Ed Lee said only intervention by the NFL could halt the Niners' planned move after the city of Santa Clara and the team announced last week they had secured $850 million in funding for the project.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/sFQb7d) that Lee is scheduled to meet with 49ers owner Jed York on Thursday. But persuading York to stay in San Francisco would be very difficult, Lee said.

"It's a business decision that's being made here. If someone's got hundreds of millions of dollars lying around, we haven't seen it," Lee said.

Goldman Sachs, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and U.S. Bank have agreed to an $850 million loan for the estimated $1 billion new stadium, the team and Santa Clara officials said last week. The rest of the money would come from the league, local taxes and redevelopment funds.

Lee said he hoped the NFL might insist that the 49ers stay in San Francisco and share a stadium with the Oakland Raiders.

"They do have a meeting scheduled to talk about several things," 49ers spokesman Steve Weakland said of Lee and York's planned sit-down. "With respect to our stadium project, however, the 49ers are committed to building a stadium in Santa Clara."

One of two public hearings on the loan is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Santa Clara City Hall. Final approval is expected this spring.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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