The new home for the San Francisco 49ers will be a reality even sooner than planned. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the stadium in Santa Clara will be ready for the 2014 season, a year earlier than previously expected.
“We’re going to be playing football here in 2014,” Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews said Friday. “I have no doubt whatsoever.”
This means the Niners will spend only two more seasons at Candlestick Park, once the final arrangement to build the stadium is approved on Tuesday by Santa Clara officials. The firm building the stadium will be required to start by July 1, 2012 and to finish by late August 2014. Failure to deliver the stadium on a timely basis will result in penalties of $6 million for each 49ers game missed, along with daily fines that could reach $20 million. If the stadium is finished in time for the 2014 preseason, a $5 million bonus will be paid.
Per the Mercury News, the penalties could cause the construction firm to actually lose money if the stadium isn’t finished on time.
Previously, the goal had been to start construction in January 2013 and open the stadium in 2015. The finalization of funding, including most recently $200 million from the league, has allowed the timetable to be accelerated.