Offside! Penalty -- three months. Any talk of the Niners moving from San Francisco down to Santa Clara is before the snap (did we get our convoluted football metaphor right? SFist Jon's out on vacation this week so we can't check), now that the City of Santa Clara's experienced yet more delays in completing the required feasibility study about how they're going to raise their $160 million share for the stadium.

The study was supposed to be done in July, then was pushed back to September, and they're now saying by the end of the year. The biggest problem is that Great America, the amusement park, hasn't decided if they're going to support the building of the stadium or not (which would be in their parking lot if the stadium gets approved). That's better than they were before, though -- when this whole process started, they originally opposed it. Now they're just neutral.

After the feasibility study gets completed, and if Great America doesn't object, the voters of Santa Clara have to hold a referendum on whether they want the stadium built or not. Depending on when they finish the study, the vote'll take place either in June or November 2008. The city acknowledges that they won't be able to make the February 2008 election.

The NFL would like a new stadium by 2012. Meanwhile, Dianne Feinstein is apparently putting on the pressure to keep the Niners in SF.

Picture of Great America (The Demon coaster) by (nz)dave, off flickr.