Maybe they’ll need to use Personal Breathing Licenses at the new 49ers stadium, after all.
In a surprise move, Santa Clara County has pulled $30 million that it previously had pledged to the team’s new stadium, according to Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News.
Per Rosenberg, the team and Santa Clara city politicians “strongly and passionately object” to the move. (Maybe they should try to strenuously object.)
County officials have decided to keep the money, explaining that they’d rather devote the cash to teachers than to “little televisions in the back of stadium seats,” a feature that county tax collector George Putris believes the team plans to install.
In 2010, Santa Clara County voters approved the use of $40 million in redevelopment funds. California, however, scuttled redevelopment agencies after the local redevelopment agency paid only $10 million to the stadium effort. The 49ers paid the remaining $30 million, with the understanding that the local redevelopment agency would repay the money from property tax revenues.
The county now believes there’s no legal obligation to do so, and the board responsible for the money voted 4-3 on Friday to spend the money instead on local government and schools.
“Let’s be real,” Putris said. “That stadium is going to get built whether or not you get this $30 million.”
While the 49ers plan to eat the money if it’s not recovered, the meal may not come until after everyone feats on plenty of law firm invoices.
“Ladies and gentleman, retain your attorneys: The litigation is to begin,” County Assessor Larry Stone said.
That could be the official slogan of the 2012 NFL season. And possibly 2013.