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Judge freezes $30 million that Santa Clara County withheld from 49ers stadium

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The San Francisco 49ers are still 0-0, but they’ve scored their first major win of the year.

A judgehas  prevented Santa Clara County from spending $30 million that had been earmarked for contribution to the new 49ers stadium, according to Mike Rosenberg and Steve Harmon of the San Jose Mercury News.  During Tuesday’s hearing, Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly suggested that, in the end, Santa Clara County may have to surrender the money to the 49ers.

On July 27, Judge Connelly formally will consider the claim that the 49ers should receive the money because voters specifically approved the funds for use on the stadium project.

“This is a powerful argument, and one that may prevail,” Judge Connelly said Tuesday.

It would have been hard for Santa Clara County to emerge from Tuesday’s hearing with anything other than a defeat, given that the board overseeing the money has yet to hire a lawyer.

The team called the judge’s decision “a step in the right direction” via a release issued Tuesday.  “We remain optimistic that when the merits of the case are heard, the court will support the [voters'] overwhelming decision,” the 49ers said.

In 2010, voters approved the contribution of $40 million by the since-disbanded local development agency.  The money earmarked for the stadium then flowed into the county’s coffers.  Last month, the county abruptly decided not to pay the cash to the stadium effort.

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16 Responses to “Judge freezes $30 million that Santa Clara County withheld from 49ers stadium”
  1. The Deep Dig says: Jul 4, 2012 12:26 AM

    Outrageous stadium debt caused the work-stoppage in the first place. Surprise people aren’t saying no more to taxpayer money for buildings that aren’t attracting fans.

  2. benchwarmer69 says: Jul 4, 2012 12:38 AM

    IF taxes help pay/rebuild a stadium, it’s a two-way street for locals and fans.

    Yeah, you have to pay the tax, but the team also cannot move anywhere without state approval.

    I don’t like the idea either, but it’s sort of like buying from rent-a-center. Sure you pay more overall, but in the lifetime of the payment, you are gauranteed the use of that item.

    Same thing here. It’s an investment. How worthy of it are they is another arguement entirely. Having taxpayers pay the extra expense would ensure the teams “loyalty.”

    …Then again, I don’t believe the 9ers are going anywhere else regardless of who pays, so the argument might be a moot one.

  3. jikkle49 says: Jul 4, 2012 12:50 AM

    Stadiums are used year round for venues outside of football.

    The fact of the matter a stadium does bring in a city money so they shouldn’t be completely off the hook when it comes to funding one it’s just more of a question if the returns warrants the investment.

  4. norvturnersneck says: Jul 4, 2012 1:21 AM

    Translation – Don’t F with the NFL in regards to money!

  5. tigershark49 says: Jul 4, 2012 1:25 AM

    It’ too bad it had to come to this.

  6. randallflagg52 says: Jul 4, 2012 1:47 AM

    West Coast football teams are a joke. I mean the most successful WC team of the decade has been Seattle, that’s saying something…

  7. 4t9er says: Jul 4, 2012 2:20 AM

    @The Deep Dig, You don’t make sense. The money was approved by the tax payers and the 49ers fronted the money and loaned it to the city of Santa Clara. The 49ers have a sellout streaks since 1981, they have no problems attracting fans.

  8. donny1rodriguez says: Jul 4, 2012 2:36 AM

    L.A. 49ers it is then…

  9. zillabeast says: Jul 4, 2012 2:48 AM

    Those Santa Clara council members tried to make themselves look like heroes by re-allocating the funds towards schools. Idiots. If they wanted the money for education why not say no to the stadium in the first place? I’m glad the judge is giving the money to the 49ers.

  10. despenc925 says: Jul 4, 2012 3:02 AM

    @thedeepdig actually before you run your mouth do your research. we’ve been selling out our stadium for years AND the Santa Clara stadium is sold out with a wish list of people trying to get on so you should withhold your statement of “aren’t attracting fans”! but every team needs haters which I see your a prime example of that!

  11. squidlips82 says: Jul 4, 2012 4:37 AM

    Just curious… has anyone else noticed that Alex Smith looks like a young Pete Townshend of the Who with short hair… check it out. LOL

  12. staffordsyear says: Jul 4, 2012 5:53 AM

    Happy 4th of july everybody.

  13. whosgotitbetter says: Jul 4, 2012 6:29 AM

    Its 40 million out of a 1.1 billion dollar plan. And not only that but its been paid for by the team already, the county just promised to pay them back which its council members are trying not to ,even tho it was passed by voters. And jobs will be there for people so thwy can build the stadium as well as the stadium being filled after it is built

  14. halbert53 says: Jul 4, 2012 6:51 AM

    I’m not a big proponent of public funding for stadiums, but if voters approved it then their intent should be followed.

  15. dryzzt23 says: Jul 4, 2012 3:33 PM

    I agree, whatever the voters approve via the ballot box, should be irrevocable by any court regardless of federal, state, local level.

    The voters approved this measure and the politicians should stay out of it b/c this is between a private enterprise and the voters. Liberals should side with the 49ers b/c technically the NFL is a non-profit entity in the same way that Cal-Berkley is a “non-profit”

  16. blessusa says: Jul 4, 2012 8:52 PM

    Hey, watch out what was actually on the ballot. Don’t be misled by the media. The ballot basically asked for voters’ approval to build the professional football stadium with various constraints including capping the redevelopment fund and restricting any city general fund. With the new law (last year or so?) signed by the governor dissolving the redevelopment agencies, the tax dollars should be returned to local government including city and schools for more critical uses than a stadium (that the rich team can definitely pay for this minimal portion). Whatever amount the school’s share will mean a lot to our teachers and students. We need better education than a gorgeous stadium.

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