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Niners discuss move to Santa Clara

SAN FRANCISCO (July 18, 2006) -- The 49ers would consider moving to Santa Clara if plans for a new San Francisco stadium fall through, team and city officials said.

"If for whatever reason things don't work out in San Francisco, we need to have a backup," said Lisa Lang, vice president of communications for the 49ers.

Team vice president and chief financial officer Larry MacNeil has met twice with Santa Clara city officials in the past month to discuss the option of building a stadium in the parking lot of the Great America amusement park, said Ron Garratt, Santa Clara's assistant city manager.

The 49ers on Monday unveiled an updated design plan for a new stadium at Candlestick Point.

Candlestick Point remains the 49ers' "absolute top choice," Lang said. "We really do feel it's a spectacular site."

But the team has been "very up front" with the city of San Francisco that "it was very important we build a new stadium," she said.

Plans to replace the 46-year-old stadium at Candlestick Point have been under consideration since 1997, when city voters authorized a $100 million bond to help pay for the project.

The team hopes to finance the building of the new San Francisco stadium, estimated to cost between $600 million and $800 million, entirely through private funding.

But acquisition of that funding depends on city approval of a residential, entertainment, and retail complex on vacant land adjacent to the stadium, according to team officials.

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