For five uneasy years, the team responsible for building the San Francisco 49ers' $1-billion new home had hung together through three work hiatuses, a recession and a regrouping caused by a site relocation 45 miles to the south—from San Francisco's Candlestick Point to Silicon Valley's Santa Clara. Then, early last fall, things changed. Suddenly, the snail's pace became a race.
Based on an early opportunity to secure financing, the 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, which will own the New Santa Clara Stadium, decided to accelerate the opening by one year. They are pulling all the stops to finish in time for the 2014 season of the National Football League. "It was like drag racers warming up their tires with short bursts forward at the starting line before the race begins," says Jon D. Magnusson, president and CEO of project structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), Seattle. "Then, all of a sudden, it was go, go, go."