SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco 49ers ended negotiations with the city about building a new stadium and plan to move to either Santa Clara or somewhere else in California, The Associated Press learned Wednesday night.
Owner John York notified Mayor Gavin Newsom of the team's decision earlier Wednesday, a city official close to the negotiations told The AP on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
Team spokesman Aaron Salkin declined to comment Wednesday night. Phone messages left on the office and cell phone of Lisa Lang, the 49ers vice president for communications, were not immediately returned.
The team's current lease at Candlestick runs through the 2008 season and the team holds three five-year options that could extend it through 2023.
The current stadium at Candlestick is one of the most run-down in the league, leading the team's desire to seek a new stadium with revenue-generation suites and luxury boxes. The plan to build a stadium also included public housing, retail and office space.
The city was not going to contribute any money to the stadium but was willing to possibly help with some of the infrastructure costs.
The 49ers headquarters are currently based in Santa Clara, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco.
Los Angeles and Anaheim also are seeking an NFL team. The mayors of the two cities met last month with new commissioner Roger Goodell to offer their competing plans to lure a team back to southern California.
Los Angeles city leaders want to build a new stadium within the walls of the historic Memorial Coliseum, featuring 200 luxury boxes and 15,000 club seats at a cost of $800 million.
Goodell also met with Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle about his city's plans to sell the NFL 53 acres at the below-market price of $50 million to build a new stadium adjacent to Angel Stadium.
The Los Angeles area hasn't had an NFL team since after the 1994 season when the Raiders returned to Oakland and the Anaheim-based Rams moved to St. Louis.