‘Niners Hunt Stadium

The San Francisco 49ers are taking a serious look at a new stadium. The football team has hired an urban development company to look into the feasibility of placing the facility at S.F.’s Candlestick Point area.

Team owners Denise DeBartolo York and John York have hired Miami-based Lennar Corp. to study the 80-acre area of city- and state-owned land around Monster Park, according to the San Jose Business Journal. Lennar is expected to study the feasibility of a stadium-anchored mixed-use development that could include housing, businesses and entertainment. The study will also determine how and where to build a new stadium, according to the Journal.

San Francisco officials expect taxes on new housing developments in the area to help pay for a stadium.

The football team has agreed to help finance it, but no real numbers have been mentioned. The NFL has up to $50 million in loans available for the project, according to the paper, and a 75,000-seat football stadium could range from $350 million to $500 million.

After Lennar makes its finding, it will take up to two years for an environmental impact report to be finalized, so city officials are targeting spring ‘08 for a groundbreaking.

The 49ers came close to building a new stadium in the late 1990s, with the National Football League enticing the team with a Super Bowl offer if voters approved a $100 million bond package, according to the San Jose Business Journal. Red tape stopped the effort.

The success of the San Francisco Giants’ baseball stadium, which spurred growth to the surrounding China Basin area, has revived interest in a 49ers stadium, the Journal said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello and San Francisco city officials agree that a new stadium in S.F. would probably result in a Bay Area return of the Super Bowl.