New 49ers Stadium a Good Deal

Tucked away on the 5th floor of the Tech Mart building in Santa Clara are some business offices of the San Francisco 49ers. Season ticket holders are being invited to come to the location, sit in a mock stadium suite and are offered a chance to purchase a lifetime Personal Seat License to the new stadium.

While some may grumble at the new business model being adopted around the National Football League, the opportunity presented by the 49ers is well worth the price of admission. The Raiders PSL debacle was predicated on the license being good for only 10 years; this is a lifetime purchase with the right to sell and transfer—a much better deal.

Previously, those of us who had season ticket rights were offered up to $10,000 for those rights during the heyday of the 49ers in the late 80s and early 90s. At one time the 49ers maintained a waiting list of thousands seeking to purchase season tickets.

That changed along with the team’s fortunes. There were years we couldn’t give tickets away. The key is the product on the field and the experience of the live game. Candlestick, as a venue, was never a draw.

For current season ticket holders, the new stadium is like being offered an IPO. There’s no guarantee that the stock will rise, but given the success of AT&T Park, the current progress of the 49ers under Jed York and Jim Harbaugh, the amenities offered at the new stadium—including the right to buy other events first, and the commitment of this ownership to get us a sixth ring, chances are the PSL prices will increase in value, not decrease.

So we went to the sales presentation and were treated to a digital view from our new seats. We could request an upgrade, but with no guarantees. The new padded seats are available to sit in—they’re far more comfortable than the hard plastic seats at Candlestick, the aisles will be wider, the view unobstructed and, yes, there will be cup holders. Concessions will be upgraded and easily accessible, more women’s bathrooms will be found and the weather is expected to be much better in Santa Clara than Candlestick Point.

Ticket prices are guaranteed for three years and financing is available, but the general public will not be given a chance to purchase tickets until August. Meanwhile, all current season ticket holders have the ability to get the same view as their current seat at Candlestick.

There will be ample parking and light rail is anticipated to bring in 30 percent of the crowd, limiting traffic. Oh yeah, there will be 40,000 parking spaces within walking distance to the stadium.

Most importantly, the team is dedicated to getting another Super Bowl ring. The Jim Harbaugh 49ers are poised to make a run this year, having been in the Championship game last year. As a good sign of things to come, friends, colleagues and ticket brokers are already calling to see if any of my current tickets are available.

Rich Robinson is a political consultant in Silicon Valley and die-hard Raiders fan. OK, maybe he’s a Niners fan.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.


    • Yes this is blatant shilling.

      If you’re correct about the $20k, he really should have disclosed his business relationship with the stadium campaign.

      • The City of Santa Clara website contains the financial information for all city-wide political campaigns, whether they are for individual candidates or committees for ballot measures.  The city clerk’s office manages this information.  The information is typically uploaded to the city’s website in pdf form, so anyone can view and download campaign finance (FPPC – Fair Political Practices Commission) reports.  If you look up the pro-stadium campaign groups FPPC reports(Santa Clarans for Economic Progress) you can see the payments made to Rich Robinson and all other campaign expenses. 

        Note that the 49ers paid $350 per yes vote – more than any other campaign in the history of this country, to win.  $5 million in a city of 45,000 voters buys a lot of mailers, air time, newspaper ads.  They spent $27,000 on yardsigns alone to litter the city with Yes on J signs (no mention on the signs of the football team or the stadium, by the way.)

        Also note that Neil deMause of the Field of Schemes website has documented over and over that host cities and their taxpayers don’t make money off of NFL stadiums – the teams/team owners make money.  Just read about the costs to taxpayers in Cincinnati, Seattle, San Diego, Oakland, Indianapolis, to name a few etc. Santa Clara’s own consultants estimated that the city would take a 2 to 1 loss on its subsidy of the stadium.

        And comparing a NFL stadium to the San Jose arena is an apples to oranges comparison.

        • That’s a very myopic view of the economic benefitis.  How many construction jobs are created?  How much did the schools get?  What kind of macro economic benefit do businesses in Santa Clara receive?  Isn’t true the Hotels taxed themselves to help pay for the stadium?  Does not Santa Clara own the stadium, how much is that worth to the city?  Will there be other events at the stadium?  What is their economic impact—positive or negative?

          Certainly, some models are better than others for cities.  Oakland, as I pointe out, was not a good deal. 

          Santa Clara made a great deal.

        • Santa Clara Unified got a bit more, because of some law regarding redevelopment agencies.  What stadium proponents fail to factor in is the benefit from alternative uses.  Like an Apple, Facebook or Google campus.  No one is going to convince me that a football stadium is as good for job creation and economic benefit as the new Apple building will be for Cupertino.

          Part of Santa Clara is in the Cupertino School District and the Campbell Union School District.  The people living in those area get less in city services, and their schools don’t benefit.

    • Well I guess that wipes out his “Unbiased” opinion.  He does a good job of covering his tracks too (not good enough for my prying eyes though)

      SAN JOSE,CA 95112     8/25/2011   $1,000   50 State Strategy
      SAN JOSE,CA 95112;_clean.x=0&searchButt;_clean.y=0&cx=010677907462955562473:nlldkv0jvam&cof=FORID:11

      Hmm, I wonder what 50 state strategy does? (it’s a pac registered in his name)  Why does he have 1 PAC he owns, donate to another PAC he owns?  In the words of the many slam pieces I’ve seen… WHO DOES THAT?

      Anyways, keep your eyes peeled for 50 state strategy.  Next time I’m fixing computers for my lawyer client, I’m going to see what Lexis Nexis turns up.

  1. Rich Robinson did work for the stadium and in purchasing his PSL is giving the money right back to the 49ers.

    As a 30 year season ticket-holder, I offer no apologies for helping secure the new stadium in Santa Clara.  My only hope is that the economic boon to Santa Clara that occurs as a result of the new venue spills over to the rest of the valley.

    When Santa Clara hosts the Superbowl, I dare say nary a person will be found, including taxpayer above, who will admit to opposing the stadium.  In fact, I have a hard time finding anyone who will admit to opposing the San Jose Arena (or admit they were wrong in their predictions of financial doom to the City of San Jose) or people who were against AT&T Park (again the predicitions of financial doom have no materialized).

    Too often good projects and economic advancement are stopped by the whining, fearful, and often anonymous voices of people who have no vision, no hope and remain steadfastly selfish in their desire to preserve what they have against the common good for the community.

    Even after these people have been rejected by a majority of their peers, the institutions that represent them and the common sense of people who are better informed; they continue to use every means at their disposal to thwart progress—leaving no turn unstoned.  Their actions cost their fellow citizens more in taxpayer money as each initiative attempt and lawsuit must be defended so the rights of the majority can proceed.  Delay in a project means increased costs—and the system allows them to abuse the system with frivilous attempts to deny.

      And they rationalize their actions in a self-rightious tone that speaks of vast conspiracies and nonexistant conflicts of interest.

    They are the cynical voices in our community and they must be challenged and rejected, so as not to empower these weak-minded, fearful, negative NIMBY minions who can impede progress for an entire community, state or nation.

  2. Mr. Robinson:

    I am trying to understand some comments about your posts concerning the 49ers.

    I am a season ticket holder for San Jose State, and I also have a daughter going there.

    Full disclosure, I like San Jose State football.

    Your bio talks about working for elected officials, so I understand when I read your columns that you speak from a person who is active in politics professionally.  Got it.

    I also see you bought season tickets for the Niners, and I assume you have gone to Niner games in the past, so it males sense they would hire someone who works for political people, and likes the Niners.  Labor of love, right?

    Do people who write stuff against you disclose whether they contributed or worked to defeat the Santa Clara proposal?  Does that color their interest?

    I just am very confused about the hatred.  Yes, you had an interest in the team, since you seem to live around here, go to games, and probably wanted the team close to where you work, and helped some of the people in favor of it.  Makes sense to me, though I am not a “true activist to the core of pure honesty.”

    Just an ordinary voter.

    I live in Santa Clara, and yes I voted yes, and yes, I like football.

    Full disclosure, I had a friend who managed to get me a free t-shirt because of some community day.  It needs to be registered somewhere, Rich?  Because I find nothing wrong with a guy who makes money spending his money on season tickets because he is a football fan.

    What is sad is there are people with so much hatred and boredom in their lives, they want to determine you, who seem to have been a fan of this from the start, wanting to make a little money, and also reap the benefit of getting the chance to pay for some games?  Did you get a discount for your tickets?  I am sure you did not.

    I do not think the San Jose Giants should be punished for being involved with SF Giants.

    Full disclosure, I got a free ticket to San Jose from Orchard Supply.  I am a shill.

    You do me a favor, ok, Rich?

    You go to the Niner games with your family, get lots of hot dogs amd buy some beer, and find a IPhone and give a bronx cheer, sweetie, to all those “TRUE ACTIVISTS” because they are just jealous.  Have a cold one and scream for the first TD, for me!

  3. BTW:  In the interest of full disclosure, I played a very minor role in the Stadium campaign.  Happy to be of some assistance, but the real credit goes to Ed McGovern—the Santa Clara City Council especially and including Kevin Moore, Jamie Mathews, Patty Mahan, Lisa Gilmore and Pat Kolstadt—I’m sure I missed a couple.

    Even more credit goes to Jed York,  his parents, and the entire Niner organization.  They ran a brilliant campaign and their efforts were, admittedly a boon to the Santa Clara economy.

    But it was an honest campaign and to say the voters were not informed on both sides of the issue is simply wrong. 

    And, if any side played dirty and loose with the facts, it was the opposition.

    What is also clear is that the opposition is still in denial regarding the outcome.  Fighting the last war is the sign of an inability to come to acceptance. 

    If any of the oppositions claims of doom and gloom come to pass, I will be among the first to admit that their dire predictions of economic collapse were well-founded.  If, on the other hand, Santa Clara sees a surge in economic activity, the stadium is filled every Sunday, economic activity exceeds expectations and the vision of Jed York and the 49ers come to pass—then I would expect the opposition to admit, publically, their views were incorrect and to apologize to the Santa Clara Taxpayers for holding up the project and costing the City and the 49ers to pay more than it should have cost to reap such benefits.

    And if taxpayer will name a date certain and reveal who they are—I will gladly bet them dinner at Birks that the Stadium will be a success.

    • Are you the same guy that wrote this?

      “Because the top 1 percent participates in the financing of elections and it takes less than 6 percent of the population to gain political power, it doesn’t take a genius to understand why public policy in this nation favors the wealthiest 10 percent generally and the top 2 percent especially.”

      I’m sure it’s because you like to have it both ways.

      • No inconsistency, different election, different turnout.

        That said, the Stadium will appeal to the top 10% of the population—but it will also benefit 100% of the community.  That is called a win/win.  wink

        • How does it benefit 100% of the community? Does that mean my church group can hold a picnic on the field whenever it wants? Are we going to be sharing any of the 49ers profits? Show me how the community benefits by going into debt for the sake of an NFL stadium?

        • > That is called a win/win.

          More like the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

          A billion dollars for a new stadium appeared out of thin air, and the Yorks are ultimately not on the hook to pay it back.

          And the 100,000 sturdy citizens of Santa Clara don’t have the deep pockets to pay it back.

          And no one has explained what happens to the finances if the 49ers permanently sink to the basement of the NFL, or if pro football is ultimately deemed to be too violent or dangerous for public spectacle.

          And yet, the green eyeshade magicians seem to feel that someone (who Rich suggests is a “winner”) will pay it back.

          It’s a miracle.

        • I’m sure your Church can use the stadium, bor the approprate rental fee. 

          No you don’t get an 49er profits.  But the tax revenue generated by the stadium, the economic activity it brings to your city and all to the benefits that come from a major employer in your city.

          There is good debt and bad debt.  Good debt is money you borrow that makes you money.  Santa Clara has good debt.

        • Money is fungible, see my remarks below.

          A lot of people, including some who are critisizing the 49ers project, believe in the loaves and fishes story.  The 49ers offer much more. . .

  4. Does this have something to do with the stadium?

    I think what this comment says is that the next time someone like the Oakland A’s, or the 49ers, or the Miami Heat, decide to put forth a stadium, they are only permitted to spend a dollar on the campaign.

    I live in Northern Santa Clara, and I just love it that the stadium opponents imply I am too stupid to recognize this was bad, and that my vote was purchased, and I am not smart enough to understand all the issues, blah, blah.

    Now I am just too poor to stand up to some rich guy who wanted to finance a campaign for a stadium.

    Woe is me.  Perhaps if we had a dictatorship of the naysayers we would be protected.

    Ps, that is what most dictators begin with, we need to rule because the citizens are just too simple.

    Give it a rest.  Stadium won, stadium got financed, construction is underway, Robinson decided to buy some tickets with his money, games start, lots of pizza gets bought, kids are hired to serve the pizza, and on, and on.  Over already.

    • Do you understand the issues? Do you know the facts regarding the financing of a $1 billion NFL stadium? Have you read how many NFL stadiums have lost money for other cities around the country?
      Why won’t they reveal how many BSL’s have been sold? Why won’t they discuss how much money is coming in from naming rights? They sure were tooting their horn as to how much money was going to come in. Well, show me the money?
      Supposedly, the stadium got financed. Where is the money from those loans? All I’ve seen is the site preparation work which was paid for by taxpayer dollars.

  5. R,

    I think you are trying to one up PO and see how many people you can piss off.  Your posts no longer have much value. I give you cudo’s for responding.  If you are so concerned post your personal email or phone number so we can contact you directly to see how we can all come together to solve this issues.

    Thank you!

  6. Wow, that gal was right.  The minute she laid her speech, some guy writes she must not understand.  Right on the button!  Rich, as a Santa Claran, I just have to say, thank you for buying season tickets, as we sure appreciate the money.  Now, you better have a high priced Sunday brunch at Marianni’s on Game Day, and a very good dinner at Birk’s, or even IHop with your family after the game.  Bring some guests!!

    Where is the money from the loans?  I guess from other investments or payouts.  Maybe it is from China.  Maybe I really do not care since it is very likely there are going to be paid back.  Oh, that’s right, I am just too bling to know that in five years, the Senior Center is going to have people sell Niner hats for their hot lunch.  I am over 60, so if I can sel one and a lunch, good deal.

    No stadium has ever been successful? Not one.  Then why did these guys urge people in San Francisco to move in.  Oh, better they go broke?  No way, they wanted no stadium.  Ok, fair, but admit the analysis is little shaded on the side. 

    Prep work??  I drive by the place.  Gee, with so little work, like moving in those frames soon, I guess they can yank it out.

    Rich, with all that buzz about you being paid to work for the Niners, you better buy some shirts too at the game store.  Otherwise, have fun.

  7. Still beating the dead horse. . .

    There are good deals and bad deals—look at the deal Santa Clara got vs. Minneapolis.  The Niners are on the hook for 88% of the financing of the stadium, in Minnesota the team is on the hook for less than 50%.

    What gets me is that you continue to root for failure so you can be right.  The simple fact is all your previous predictins have failed—the stadium is under construction—the only failure so far has been your own.

    Nobody has taken me up on my bet.  With everything in life their is risk—admittedly—but how many cities could have pulled off a deal like this—and how many would trade places with Santa Clara if they could?  Ask Fremont about the A’s?  Ask San Jose about the A’s?

    Does anybody remember what the 3rd St area in SF lookid like before AT&T?  If it were not for the Sharks, Concerts, and other Events what would downtown SJ have to offer?

    Why do cities want these burdens?  Because they increase revenue for the city, help the overall economy and provide an immense amount of civic pride.  How many of you are against the Arena?  How many of you think AT&T Park was a bad idea?  How many of you will oppose the Warriors moving to SF?  (Oh, I’m sure some NIMBY fools will organize around that alleged boondoggle).

    The Average price of a ticket—without PSL will be over $100 per seat, that is 6,800,000 per game.  68 million in ticket sales a year—over 10 years that is 680 million.  If the PSL averages $7,000 per seat (probably higher) that is 476 million.  There is your billion—and you haven’t added in parking, concessions, naming rights, Corporate Boxes, or other events—including playoffs, and Superbowls.

    The 49ers will also make money on television rights (the big dough), NFL properties etc.

    Even if they were not to sell-out (hard to believe) there is lots of wiggle room to make this work.

    The multiplier including tax revenue, economic activity for other businesses, increased usage of public transit and the serious natuonal attention you get is not even in that calculation.

    Still don’t believe—make the bet.

  8. Thank you Rich Robinson for arguing in generalizations and the hypothetical. You’re an attorney by trade. Do you think you’d ever win a case based on those two concepts?

    First, all evidence of the stadium’s fiscal success is to the contrary. Unless, of course, you can provide proof where a recently constructed NFL stadium is providing a financial windfall for taxpayers who helped fund it. Good luck with your search. However, I can name quite a few NFL stadiums that are losing millions of dollars per year for taxpayers.

    Second, what deal are referring to in where Santa Clara somehow has a leg up on another city? Surely you’re not referring to San Francisco. They got the Giants to fund their own stadium and now the Warriors will be doing the same with a new arena in that city. San Jose? Their stadium project has been stonewalled by the Giants and Major League Baseball.

    Third, its analogically false for you to compare an NFL stadium with an indoor arena. An arena provides event planners and promoters with a viable option to host concerts and other events. Big stadium concerts are a thing of the past. Besides, the new stadium is in the direct flight path of San Jose Airport. What concert promoter is going to hold their musical event where there is disruptive airplane noise overhead?

    For the record, HP Pavilion does not provide huge profits for the City of San Jose. The money they receive from the San Jose Sharks, who manage the arena, provides enough to pay the remaining debt service. In addition, AT&T Park was privately financed and is in use for 81 baseball games per year, which is far more than the 8-10 football games held at an NFL stadium. Ditto for the Warriors new arena, which will be developed using private capital.

    Furthermore, the average price of a 49ers ticket is irrelevant. The stadium does not receive those revenues. That money goes directly to the 49ers. Ditto for the corporate luxury boxes. After all, you apparently forgot the 49ers have a payroll to meet.

    Also, your basis for the PSL sale price median is based on wishful thinking. The 49ers season ticket holders I’ve spoken with, have stated they are not willing to spend that much for their seats even if season ticket prices are status quo for three years.

    The multiplier effect you’ve professed has no foundation whatsoever. The supposed tax revenues, economic activity, public transporation, etc., does not justify the amount of money the municipal Stadium Authority will be accountable to repay. The 49ers profit margin doesn’t concern me. I won’t benefit from that and neither will the people of Santa Clara.

    Finally, why not offer your specifics of the stadium deal before you decide to make a bet? Where in the DDA does it state the 49ers are responsible for 88% of the stadium’s financing? Where in the DDA does it state the 49ers fixed annual rent payment will be $30 million? What other events will provide enough money to pay for the annual expenses of the stadium? How much has naming rights brought in?

  9. Robinson is an attorney?  Then he knows, but others don’t that a judge revriewed the pleadings on the case, and rule the matters were sufficient.  No appeal filed, so an attorney knows this, but a naysayer does not, set and match.

    Season ticket holders spoken with?  Who?  Some guy wants Rich to give his name and number, so fair question, who are the ticket holders?  From where?  How long?  They do not exist.

    Accountable to repay?  Gee, first it was the city that was accountable, know it is the Authority.  We are making progress.  Oh, the contracts specify that the Stadium Company owned by the Tork is responsible.  This guy keeps writing the team knowing that it is the stadium company.  Dr. Goebbels whould be proud.

    Wow, no other events and no money from the naming rights.  How good is this oracle?

    Stadium receives the money.

    Get a good doctor, friend, I hear Dr. Burnett is available, and will forgive and forget.

  10. The SF Giants got the land they built their stadium on from the City.  And the NIMBYs there predicted doom and gloom.  Unlike Santa Clara, the Giants own their stadium.  Santa Clara owns the stadium for the 49ers and they signed a 40 year lease.

    Your declaration that there is no evidence is false.  All of the financing is in place—the NFL actually gave $50 million more than asked.  Seats are being sold—and no you can’t have the figures yet—obvioulsy the 49ers aren’t worried about your needing to know.

    But I am assuming I won’t be alone in the stands when the stadium opens.

    The multiplier effect does have a basis in fact, though you can argue over numbers.  Just because you say it isn’t so, doesn’t make it a reality.  Just as an example, ask the businesses in downtown SJ.  What is business like when the Sharks are at home, as opposed to when they are not.

      The Hotels in Santa Clara voted to tax themselves because of the new guests who will be coming to the city as a result of the stadium.  Joe Montana wants to build a hotel and restaraunt—and the argument against his proposal is the city might be able to squeeze more from another competitor.  Are you kidding me? 

    Your ask is absurd it’s like saying tomorrow will never come because it is not here today.

    Your Chamber of Commerce certainly believes economic activity will increase.  Your schoold get extra dough as a result of the stadium. 

    The 49ers are a business in your town.  They employ people—lots of people.  They eat at your reastaraunts, contribute to your tax base and god knows how jealous SF is that they are leaving.  The parking revenues from Candlestick alone are a net plus for the city.

    Oh yeah, Candlestick was a bad deal for that city too.

    You are really worried about naming rights?  We’ve had Pac Bell, AT&T, Monster Park, Oracle Center, HP Pavillion—we have Apple, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Intel, IBM, HP, and a host of other firms in the area. 

    You want answers to day for things that are in process.  Make the bet.

    • Great, some attorney came up with a “legal argument” as to why they had the power to breach a contract.  These may be the same legal geniouses who opined on Measure B.

      Well, the lawyers will get paid.

  11. Term sheet has all you need.  40 year lease in place.  Financing and repayment to city is all agreed.  Other documents/processes to be worked out..

    Like any mortgaged property, you don’t get paid back all at once—and conditions allow for refinancing in future, if needed.

    Make the bet. . .

    BTW:  if you think the Oakland Coliseum area is blighted now, wait until everyone leaves. . .andd without a redevelopment agency—I don’t know how they rebuild the place.

  12. ROTFL! What NIMBYS predicted doom & gloom for ATT Park? The only NIMBYS were the ones who didn’t want it there. The vast majority of San Franciscans supported the Giants stadium because it was privately financed. Ditto for the new Warriors arena.

    In addition, I didn’t state the financing was in place. However, no one has seen any signed loan documents. Any idea where they might be? The 49ers don’t care how many BSL’s are sold. That will not be their problem. They can always sell game day tickets even if the BSL’s don’t sell. That money goes in their coffers and not the City of Santa Clara, aka Stadium Authority.

    Also, I guess we have a parallel argument. Just because you say it is so, doesn’t make it a reality. Look at the Oakland Coliseum. They have three major sports franchises yet not many businesses in that area benefit from the sports teams activities.

    Moreover, the Joe Montana hotel project is still just talk. I’d be very skeptical about the project considering his business partner was once convicted of bank fraud. Joe Montana has a history of seeking taxpayer subsidies for development projects. Its a well know fact. What monies does Santa Clara have to give him?

    The schools may get chump change from the stadium. Its not even because of the stadium. In fact, that money may now be in question as it was a pass through of funds from a redevelopment agency which no longer exists. Believe me, our Chamber of Commerce has been wrong before. They’ll be wrong again.

    The 49ers are a business in my town receiving Section 8 style rent for city land which houses their headquarters building. Most of San Francisco doesn’t care if the 49ers leave for Santa Clara. The only grandstanders were the politicians. Your right about one thing. The parking revenues provide income for the City of San Francisco. BUT, there is no debt service on Candlestick Park! ! ! That thing was built 50 years ago ! ! ! Remember, Candlestick Park was originally built for the Giants and the 49ers moved in during the early 1970’s. That was two incomes paying downt the debt. The Santa Clara stadium will have only one tenant (THE RAIDERS WILL NOT SHARE THE STADIUM).

    Am I worried about naming right? When there is debt accumulating on a daily basis and no naming rights sponsor to provide supplementary income for the stadium, YOU BET BELIEVE I’M WORRIED! So far, I haven’t seen one Silicon Valley company step up and say they’re interested in being the stadium’s naming rights sponsor. We are counting on at least $350 million.

    Finally, you want me to make the bet? Well, let me reiterate what was stated in my previous comment: 1. Show me where in the DDA that the 49ers are responsible for 88% of the stadium’s total costs. 2. Show me where the in the DDA the 49ers fixed annual rent payments will be $30 million

  13. In addition to the loans, the 49ers will contribute $150 million to building the stadium, largely through luxury suites they have already sold. The final $20 million is expected to come from various revenues expected before construction starts, such as season ticket sales.

    The two sides are now so confident in their funding prospects that they are “motivated” to start building the stadium as soon as mid-2012, with a chance it could be completed in 2014. Conservatively, they still expect to start building by January 2013 and open for the 2015 season.

    49ers CEO Jed York has already approved the 75-page deal and the City Council is expected to follow suit Dec. 13, cementing a “formal commitment” from both sides.

    The plan does not spell out the likelihood of the Raiders also playing games in Santa Clara, as the teams continue to discuss moving in together. If the Raiders joined the project, the city could see millions more in funding from the Oakland team and the NFL.

    The deal calls for the 49ers to pay the city about $30 million per year to lease the city-owned land, a large increase from the previous estimate of $5 million.

    The team would operate the stadium year-round, and take on operating costs during the six months of the season. The city would pay for the cost to run the stadium during the offseason, and the two entities would split the revenues from non-NFL events such as concerts, which would carry a $4 ticket surcharge. It’s still unclear whether they’d charge a tax on NFL games.

    The lease would last 40 years, with options to extend the deal an additional 20 years.

    from sj merc article

    • > The city would pay for the cost to run the stadium during the offseason, and the two entities would split the revenues from non-NFL events such as concerts, which would carry a $4 ticket surcharge.

      How many “non-NFL” events are there in the Bay Area in a year that require an out-door football stadium NOT named Oakland Colosseum, Cal Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose State, or AT&T Park?

      Would any of the “non-NFL” events just be business stolen away from other tax payer subsidized venues that have bondholders to pay off, like, say, HP Pavillion?

      I can’t recall any mega-event promoter complaining to me about the lack of venues in the Bay Area for Obama to have his nomination acceptance speech.  If he needs a place to stand in front of phony Greek columns and read a teleprompter to 50,000 drooling seat warmers, there are plenty of existing places that don’t require a dime of new money from taxpayers.

  14. On June 22, 2012 the Oversight Board in charge of
    disbursement of former Redevelopment Agency (RDA)
    funds voted 4-3 to **NOT** allow RDA property tax
    dollars to be used for stadium funding.

    1) Recall that: In Jan 2011 Gov. Brown said he’d do away
    with RDAs.
    The legislation which wiped out RDAs requires a 7 member
    oversight board for each RDA to approve or disapprove which RDA
    obligations should be paid.

    2)Recall that: Measure J in June 2010 specified that RDA
    funding would be capped at $40 million for the stadium.

    “The Ground Lease shall require that contributions to the construction
    costs of the Stadium by the Agency shall not exceed Forty Million
    Dollars ($40,000,000) exclusive of debt service and other
    financing costs and payments to the City for development fees.”  and
    “Neither the City nor its Redevelopment Agency shall be liable for
    the obligations of the Stadium Authority”

    3) Recall that: The Stadium Authority (SA) was created
    as a Joint Powers Agency (JPA) between the City of Santa
    Clara and its Redevelopment Agency (RDA).
    In Feb. 2011, the city council created a ‘cooperation’ agreement between
    the SA and the RDA, to allow money to flow from the RDA to the SA to the 49ers.

    At yesterday’s oversight committee meeting, County Counsel Lizanne
    Reynolds said that the agreements were structured in a “funky” way
    to create the Stadium Authority because the RDA could not directly
    give money to the 49ers.  She said that the SA was created as a JPA
    to essentially “wash” the funds through the JPA, which was a
    circumvention of the RDA law.

    4)On June 22 the Oversight Committee voted 4-3 to terminate
    the cooperation agreement between the RDA and the SA.
    Without the agreement in place, no property
    tax dollars can be transferred from the RDA to the SA to the stadium.
    It’s item 5B on yesterday’s agenda. Watch the 1 hour video!

    Supporting documents include a letter from the 49ers attorneys
    (the same ones who sued us to deny us the right to vote after we collected
    signatures) and a letter from the county auditor, who lists the requested
    amount of RDA money for the stadium at $52 million:
    If the $52 million was given to the 49ers for the stadium, the county
    auditor showed that the following agencies would lose the following amounts over time:
    Santa Clara Unified $20,202,441.
    Santa Clara County $9,495,254.
    Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds K-12 (county) $7,141,259.
    West Valley-Mission College $5,841,961.
    Santa Clara City $5,294,806.
    County School Service $2,090,874.
    Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds College (county)  $1,189,482
    Santa Clara Valley Water District $1,182,552.
    Bay Area Air Quality Management District $129,505
    Santa Clara Parking District 23,897
    Santa Clara Bridge District $9,370
    El Camino Hospital $2,542.

    5) How they Voted:
    Four in favor of terminating the cooperation agreement:
    Mr. Kolvira Chheng representing Santa Clara Unified School District
    County Tax Collector George Putris
    Another County representative, Mr. Singh
    Water District Representative Don Gage

    Three opposed to terminating the agreement:
    Santa Clara Mayor Matthews
    Santa Clara Finance Director Gary Ameling
    West Valley Mission Community College Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Edralin Maduly

    Note that the voters just approved Measure C, a large bond measure for the
    community college district, and Mr. Maduly voted to give $52 million in taxpayer funds
    to the 49ers rather than to SCUSD, the College District, the city, the county etc.
    If you have concerns about how he voted, please contact:
    Mission College President Dr. Laurel Jones:  [email protected]
    West Valley College President Dr. Lori Gaskin: [email protected]
    And send a letter to the editor too, please.

    6) The Bottom Line:

      The SA is now unable to pay back the 49ers Stadium Company (Stadco) on the existing promissory note (about $30 Million) made by the SA to Stadco.  (see the letter from the 49ers attorneys in the post meeting material
      The oversight board’s decision to terminate the cooperation agreement bars the city from using RDA property tax dollars to repay Stadco.  The SA has no income stream and was counting on the RDA dollars.
      The RDA is abolished so it can’t issue bonds against future property tax increment to pay off any SA debts.
      The letter from the 49ers attorneys states that the purpose of the City’s pledge of $40 million plus interest of RDA money was not just for construction costs for the stadium, but also as leverage to secure the third party debt (loans).  The uncertainty in whether or not the Oversight Board would approve of RDA monies going to the stadium may be responsible for the silence regarding whether or not the $950 million in loans have funded. (There has been nothing from the city or in the press regarding funding of the loans.  The loans were supposed to fund in April. But at least 2 of the lenders just had their credit rating downgraded too.)  Unless the 49ers attorney’s letter is an exaggeration, the tone of urgency in the letter suggests that without public funding (the RDA dollars), the loans from the banks may not happen.
      Regardless, to date, the City has already spent over $9 million on staff time, consultants, and the giveaway of millions in RDA dollars for ‘pre-construction’ stadium costs.

    • Great post!

      Changing the subject.  Note to Tricky Dicky:  It’s all about principle and integrity.  You either get it, or you don’t, and you either have it or you don’t.

      • I got it in an email. There’s a part II if you want me to post it.  It was 11,000 characters, and posts here are limited to 6000.

        To long;didn’t read version tl;dr

        County has told Santa Clara, “You may NOT use RDA funds for a stadium!”

        If the plans go ahead as scheduled without RDA funds, the citizens of the city of Santa Clara will be on the hook for $50,000,000.

        San Jose will be in a similar spot.  If Santa Clara can’t use leftover RDA coffers to build stadiums, neither can we.

    • > In Feb. 2011, the city council created a ‘cooperation’ agreement between
      the SA and the RDA, to allow money to flow from the RDA to the SA to the 49ers.

      How can I get the city council to create a cooperation agreement to allow money to flow to Lou Scannon?  I’m a pretty cooperative person.

  15. This circular argument is tiresome.  If you are correct, the 49ers, the City and the Mercury News all lie.  Ultimately, you trust none of these entities.

    Here is the bet and you can spend your time arguing the minutia in the future.

    Was it a good deal?

    1)  Is it good economically for the City?

    2)  Were public services effected negatively by the Stadium?

    3)  Did Santa Clara Taxpayers have an increase in taxes as a result of the Stadium?

    If the answer to these questions is 1) Yes 2) No and 3) No—then we can agree it was a good deal and dinner is on you.

    If on the other hand, I’m wrong and the answer to any of the above questions is in the alternative, I pick-up dinner.

    Let’s make it 3 years and I will get reservations in your name at Birks.



  16. In response to Rich Robinson:

    1. No. The only good deal for a City is when private industry pays for their own facilities just like companies such as Apple, Google and Yahoo have done.

    2. Yes. Police officers and emergency workers will be working at the stadium instead of monitoring emergenices throughout the rest of the city

    3. N/A. Until the stadium starts losing money we will not know if taxpayer money will be used. However, other government funded NFL stadiums have needed taxpayer bailouts to keep them solvent.

    Three years is an insignificant amount of time to ascertain any property’s success. I’ll say in five years time the Stadium Authority will be in financial trouble.

    • That sums it up.

      No deal is good enough for you.  You live in an abstract world where free market capitalism endures with no help from govrnment.

      Apple, Google and Yahoo all get help from government, in different forms.  You are naive to think otherwise.  There is no city in America that doesn’t help their sports teams out.  Government even exempts them from antitrust laws.

      But if you still want to make the bet after 5 years.  I’m game.


      • Early on in the stadium process in SC, the San Francisco Sentinel wrote an article which essentially stated that the 49ers owners (the Yorks) were wanting to come to Santa Clara because no other city council would bend over backwards to give the 49ers owners what they wanted – a large gift of public funds:

        “The owners of the San Francisco 49ers selected Santa Clara over San Francisco because public money was pledged by the City of Santa Clara and no such offer was made by the City of San Francisco, according to a professional source associated with the San Francisco 49ers.

        The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that both John York and his son, Jed York, now team president, made the selection of Santa Clara over San Francisco solely for financial reasons, and not the public reason that they gave regarding parking and transportation access when they announced San Francisco was their second choice for a stadium site.”

        “It was a no-brainer for the York family to accept the Santa Clara offer, which covers nearly half the cost of a new stadium versus the $100 million offer that came from Lennar,” according to the source. “The choice was never about parking and traffic access in San Francisco, it was purely a financial decision by the York family because they would get greater benefit from public money in Santa Clara.”

        BTW, Santa Clara Plays Fair has an entire timeline that tracks 6 years of what has gone on in Santa Clara with respect to our pro-stadium council behaving as if they were elected to represent the 49ers instead of the citizens of Santa Clara. Click on the blue highlighted links to read the documentation.

      • I live the real world where I’ve seen far too much welfare given to either the very rich or very poor, who subsequently abuse it, and the ones who end up paying its costs are those in the middle.
        I’m not against certain government exemptions granted to business willing to establish itself in any city. However, it varies on the level of assistance. If the 49ers were seeking the kind of tax breaks given to the Giants by the City of San Francisco, then I’d have no reason to oppose the stadium project. However, what’s being expected by the 49ers goes way over the line. In case you didn’t do any research, no other city in the Bay Area offered to build the 49ers a new stadium under the conditions they were seeking.

  17. You’re wrong Rich. The 49ers $150 million commitment comes from an NFL loan. The luxury suites are revenues which will be kept by the 49ers. Let me reiterate:The sale of 49ers game day tickets, or season tickets, are revenues which they will keep. None of it goes toward paying for stadium related expenses.

    Yeah, right! The two sides are so confident in their funding prospects that the 49ers attorney told the SCC RDA committee they need the $30 million in once promised RDA funds to receive their bank loans. If they’re desperate for that $30 million then the stadium is in real trouble.

    Once again, you offer no specifics as to the details. If you’re so sure the 49ers will be responsible for 88% of the stadium’s costs, and they will be paying fixed rent of $30 million per yer for 40 years, then show me some proof of that. If anything, most of that assumed value is likely contingent on performance based rent which are revenues that can vary.

    The Oakland Raiders will not share the stadium with the 49ers. They would return to LA before ever doing that. There is no real benefit for the Raiders sharing a stadium with the 49ers unless they’re paying next to nothing in rent.

    As it stands, the team should pay for six months per year of operating costs. After all, the stadium is being built for their purpose. The non-NFL events you refer to will be too infrequent to generate sufficient annual revenues to match the stadium’s yearly expenses. Unless, of course, you can provide evidence to show which NFL stadium has 10-15 sold out non-NFL events per year.