California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Sunday designed to make it easier for the San Francisco 49ers to build a new football stadium in Santa Clara.

The bill gives Santa Clara — located adjacent to San Jose and about 40 miles south of San Francisco — the legislative option to award a design-build public contract to construct the proposed stadium, according to a news release from the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara.

The Silicon Valley city and the National Football League franchise have agreed to a term sheet that calls for Santa Clara to contribute $40 million to the project through bonds issued by its redevelopment agency, and $35 million through debt issued by a new community facilities district supported by new taxes on hotel rooms near the planned stadium.

A new stadium authority would also be authorized to provide financing backed by seat licenses, naming rights, and a ticket surcharge. City officials say the football team would be responsible for other costs and overruns on the project, estimated to cost more than $900 million.

Santa Clara’s voters must approve a ballot measure on the project in 2010.

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