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July 26, 2011

The NFL's new stadium fund explained (sort of)

With the NFL lockout finally over, the blogwaves are afire with talk of how the league's new collective bargaining agreement will affect various teams' stadium campaigns. We've already seen a report that the San Diego Chargers could get up to $150 million in NFL stadium funds, another that the San Francisco 49ers and Raiders could pool their stadium credits to get $300 million for a shared stadium, and still others that AEG's planned Los Angeles stadium could get a cut. (The Minnesota Vikings could also be in line for funds, though apparently they've already been counting that particular chicken before it hatched.)

So how much money is really available, and where is it coming from? The press reports are maddeningly incomplete and contradictory, but this is, to the best of my knowledge, what's going on:

  • Back in olden times, the NFL had a program called "G-3," which allowed home teams to keep the visitors' share of club seat revenues to use to help pay off new stadium costs. Initially implemented to help convince NFL teams to remain in large markets — it was originally concocted, in fact, by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who limited it to the top six media markets, of which he just happened to play in #6 — it was eventually expanded to the whole league. Then the program ran out, and the flow of funds stopped.
  • The successor to G-3 — which, sadly, won't be called G-4 — instead takes a 1.5% cut off the top of NFL revenues, and allocates it to stadium projects. (Sources disagree over whether this comes entirely out of the players' share or the owners would contribute as well.) At $9 billion a year in total league revenues, that would imply $135 million a year in stadium credits — though apparently the math isn't nearly so simple, which may explain why this article says only $95 million. Still, that's a huge amount of money, enough over ten years pay off about $734 million in stadium bonds. (It's not $950 million in stadium bonds because payments ten years from now aren't worth the same as payments now.)
  • That huge number notwithstanding, scuttlebutt is that only three teams will be allowed to tap the new stadium loan fund, with rumors putting a cap at $150 million per team. That'd mean that from among the 49ers, Raiders, Vikings, Chargers, any team moving to L.A., and maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars, at least a couple of teams would get left out in the cold. Unless the NFL expanded the program again, which it seemingly would have the money to do.

All in all, this is a good thing for both teams wanting to build stadiums and for taxpayers not wanting to put their own money into stadiums, as this is the NFL recognizing that — because of its weird status as a league where the vast majority of revenue comes from national TV contracts — if it wants to encourage teams to stay in big markets and avoid killing the Fox golden goose, it needs to subsidize stadiums with its own money. Of course, it also could end up helping grease the wheels for some otherwise stuck stadium projects that would still involve some taxpayer money — $150 million per stadium doesn't go all that far — so in that sense, not so good. But in the grand scheme of things, billionaires voting to spend some of their own billions on projects to increase their billions is nothing to sneeze at.


So the LA stadium just got a cash infusion, the Niners (now likely Niners/Raiders) stadium in Santa Clara has a cash infusion. The big questions are, is the $150 million per stadium or per team? This could be a big point as the cash infusion could be substantially more for both LA and Santa Clara.

Second big question is, if there are only 3 regions slated, who is the 3rd? Jacksonville? San Diego? Minnesota? St. Louis?

Posted by Dan on July 26, 2011 03:29 PM

How long is this labor deal? 10 years?

The "other teams" would get left out in the cold for now, but revenues should increase over those 10 years.

I can definitely see how this turns a Santa Clara 49ers-only stadium from being a loser into a 49ers-Raiders stadium winner (or at least make it break even). Naturally, I need to see more, but I can definitely see the better potential here. And they're getting this money from league revenues; I like that.

From other stories I've read, Santa Clara won't need to re-vote on this, although they probably should have that right. But once you include the Raiders in there, it probably would do even better on election day than a 49ers-only stadium.

I always believe in the right to vote on these things. They'll want a fancier stadium now, and that's fine. So... Re-vote, if possible. But it'll pass.

Two heads are better than one.

Two tenants are better than one.

Posted by MikeM on July 26, 2011 04:47 PM

Anything that turns a football stadium from a 355-days--a-year economic black hole into a 345-days-a-year economic black hole is okay in my book.

Posted by Neil deMause on July 26, 2011 04:52 PM

My understanding is that the ballot measure specifically stated that no re-vote would be required to add a second team.

Posted by Brian on July 26, 2011 05:54 PM

That's what I remember as well Brian. Which is just as well. If it passed with one team it is sure to pass with two. Double the dates, double the use, double the income, and most importantly possibly double the money that the city and team don't have to pay thanks to the new CBA.

After reading a bit more on who team "3" would be it seems that Minnesota is the odds on favorite to be team 3. Which means it's very likely San Diego, and either St. Louis or Jacksonville will eventually be LA bound. Leaving at least 2 cities sans team and one team out in the cold.

Posted by Dan on July 26, 2011 06:51 PM

What you're all seem to be forgetting is that Al Davis won't be interested in playing sub-tenant in what people will view as being the 49ers home.

Also, he pays minimal rent in Oakland, he won't be willing to move and pay more. He has stated his preference to stay in Oakland (which is on the freeway and has a BART stop). Who here thinks the Raiders would draw better in the South Bay?

How does the stadium authority sell PSLs to 49er fans and not Raider fans?

Still big parking issues.

Posted by santa clara jay on July 26, 2011 07:24 PM

Read the EIR. Double the dates and you will have 20 weekends when the neighborhoods around the stadium are cordoned off and residents have to show i.d. to get to their homes. While Measure J passed, precinct data show that the neighborhoods around the stadium actually voted no on the stadium by 51.5%. There will be many police checkpoints and the traffic will be just as bad or worse than when Great America Amusement Park (next door neighbor to the stadium) had 4th of July fireworks - in other words, the streets become a parking lot. You know it will be bad when the plan is to drop 160 police officers into the area to control traffic/checkpoints etc. That's more police officers than the city of Santa Clara has. It's not going to be pretty for fans driving to/from the stadium or for SC residents. People complain that it takes so long to get out of Candlestick's parking lot - the EIR says up to 1 hr 45 minutes to get out of SC near the stadium after a game. And no one has addressed where people can tailgate. Not in the parking garage, and how many businesses will allow tailgating in their parking lots? Will Mission College allow that, with the trash and liability from grills and drinking that accompanies tailgating?

Regarding PSLs - selling them to Raiders fans didn't work in 1995, what makes anyone think it will work now? And will 49ers fans want to pay for PSLs when Raiders fans don't have to?

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 26, 2011 07:33 PM

Jay, seems you're wrong. The Raiders and Niners were reported to be in negotiations with each other as recently as last week about sharing the stadium. The Raiders know the writing is on the wall if they want a new stadium now that the "Bay Area" is getting one of the 3 funding chances, not the individual teams. The NFL has forced their hand, they'll either have to be joint tenants with the Niners or sell large portion of the team to AEG and move to LA. For Al the lesser of two evils, and the only way he'll see a new stadium in his remaining lifetime and retain his majority ownership share, is to finish the negotiations with the Niners.

As for selling PSLs for the Niners and not Raiders, they haven't had trouble selling luxury suites to the Niners so far having sold 150 million worth. I doubt they'll have much more difficulty finding buyers for Niners PSLs.

And I honestly think the Raiders will at least draw as well in SC as they do in Oakland. It's not a hard proposition since they don't draw at all in Oakland now anyway being dead last in attendance several years running.

Posted by Dan on July 26, 2011 08:02 PM

No one is talking about the elephant in the room ... parking! The 49ers have already agreed to forego Monday, Thursday and and other "night" games because of the total lack of dedicated parking. There is no stadium parking at all ... zero! There is no rapid-transit access ... zero! The train access is for the ACE train ... so that is a big fat zero unless you are coming from Sacramento (which would be good for them) as long as they don't mind walking about 3/4 of a mile and climbing about three flights of stairs ... no ADA compliant train access to the stadium at all. Plunking a 68,500 seat in a 17-acre parking lot (that is already leased to Great America) is not a viable solution at all. And, once the fans realize that they have been duped - one can only pray that they wake up. Yes, the 49ers need a new stadium, but Santa Clara is not the solution. The City of Santa Clara has no experience and absolutely no idea how to handle it either.

Say hello to a giant nightmare if this is ever built ... which probably won't ever happen. Especially in light of the RDA money evaporation and the City's current financial mess.

Posted by ReadyRanger on July 26, 2011 08:29 PM

Ranger, no public transit access? What about the VTA lightrail which has a station right at the stadium site and which accesses Caltrain both north and south? What about ACE which you mistakenly think goes to Sacramento? As for parking, there will be a garage and ground parking on site as well as parking across the creek at the Great America overflow. Additionally I doubt very much it will be hard for the Niners to work with the convention center, Joe Montana's new hotel, and the businesses whose parking lots stand empty on weekends for additional parking around the site. All of which then have direct access to both 237 and 101.

As for redevelopment, if I'm not mistaken the bulk of the SC funding was not dependent on redevelopment, and the loss of that assumes SC doesn't save their redevelopment agency as many cities have already chosen to do via the second part of the redevelopment bill which allows cities to save their agencies.

Posted by Dan on July 26, 2011 09:11 PM

"As for redevelopment, if I'm not mistaken the bulk of the SC funding was not dependent on redevelopment, and the loss of that assumes SC doesn't save their redevelopment agency as many cities have already chosen to do via the second part of the redevelopment bill which allows cities to save their agencies."

None of that makes any difference to us Santa Clarans - we learned on June 7th that the Stadium Authority will be taking on hundreds of millions more in stadium debt, the 49ers will be paying even less than they were "estimating" only a year ago.

Then on June 14th, we learned that the RDA would take in nearly 9 percent less in 2011-12 than it did in 2010-11.

Meaning that, instead of issuing bonds at 5.75%, the RDA will have to borrow from the 49ers themselves at up to 8.5%

Everytime we turn around, the 49ers are dreaming up more ways to make us pay even more for their stadium.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 12:31 AM

"they'll either have to be joint tenants with the Niners... "

Wrong again, Dan - the Raider will be SUBTENANTS.

The Santa Clara Stadium Authority has no power to negotiate any second team lease - we gave that up to Jed York himself when we approved Measure J.

We also give up virtually all of the proceeds from any such sublease. The Raiders will keep all of their NFL revenues, and will pay no more to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority than the 49ers will.

All of this is in the Measure J ballot language, and it's all in the Stadium Term Sheet, available on our city's website.

Anyway you slice it: None of the news surrounding the CBA helps Santa Clara pay off a single penny in stadium debt.

This is about millionaire NFL players and millionaire NFL owners collecting more millions. Nothing more.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 12:38 AM

"As for parking, there will be a garage and ground parking on site as well as parking across the creek at the Great America overflow. "

Dan, the new parking structure will have only 1,900 stalls, not even enough to hold the cars of game day employees. The stadium site has several hundred stalls - period.

Everybody else - in 20,000 to 22,000 cars - parks on private land.

After they've dealt with any number of 31 barricaded traffic checkpoints.

Manned by 160 police officers. More sworn officers than the City of Santa Clara even has.

You would do well to actually read the City Council Agenda Reports before making unsustainable claims. All of this is on the city's website.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 01:01 AM

"My understanding is that the ballot measure specifically stated that no re-vote would be required to add a second team."

It's not that it's not required - it's that such a vote IS NOT EVEN ALLOWED.

When Santa Clarans voted Measure J in - they gave the second team sublease to Jed York.

Not one Santa Clara agency or official can negotiate that sublease with a second NFL team, because only the 49ers themselves have that power.

Please read the Term Sheet. The facts are there.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 01:11 AM

"'As for selling PSLs for the Niners and not Raiders, they haven't had trouble selling luxury suites to the Niners so far having sold 150 million worth. I doubt they'll have much more difficulty finding buyers for Niners PSLs. "

Anybody can sell a luxury box to John Chambers, CEO of Cisco.

Try selling a PSL to a guy that just lost his job.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 01:31 AM

"no public transit access? What about the VTA lightrail which has a station right at the stadium site and which accesses Caltrain both north and south?"

Dan, jumping on RR doesn't help you make your case.

The EIR for the stadium was predicated on achieving a mass-transit utilization of 26%.

At the same time Candlestick could only claim 19%.

Claims for mass transit usage at an NFL stadium in Santa Clara are completely cooked numbers. I know, because I spoke personally with the people who put together the San Francisco numbers - which was before I spoke twice in front of our own Planning Commission on exactly what nonsense they were.

This has not a thing to do with how close you think a stadium will be to 101 or 237 - what matters is how you park 20-22K cars within a five-hour window pregame - within a two-hour window postgame.

With a 17-acre stadium site, there is no way that the Santa Clara site competes with San Francisco at 84 acres or Oakland with at least 105 acres (yes, includes the Arena).

Also, if someone's just been squeezed by the Niners' PSL hawkers for twenty grand for a single PSL on the fifty, they sure won't be taking the No. 57 bus to any stadium in Santa Clara.

They'll be in their Q45s or their Escalades. Promise.

Always a pleasure,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 01:32 AM

"We also give up virtually all of the proceeds from any such sublease. The Raiders will keep all of their NFL revenues, and will pay no more to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority than the 49ers will."

Point is they'll be paying the stadium authority will they not?

Posted by Dan on July 27, 2011 10:00 AM

"Try selling PSL's to a guy who just lost his job"

If a guy just lost his job the last thing he should be doing is buying any sporting tickets, PSL or otherwise. But as for selling them, considering the Niners have a long record of selling out and the above average disposable income in the valley I suspect they won't have much trouble.

Posted by Dan on July 27, 2011 10:04 AM

"Point is they'll be paying the stadium authority will they not?"

Amount into the 49ers' pockets, first year of stadium operation:


Amount into the General Fund of the City of Santa Clara, first year of stadium operation:

$180 thousand dollars, PERIOD.

Case closed, Dan.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 10:20 AM

"If a guy just lost his job the last thing he should be doing is buying any sporting tickets, PSL or otherwise."

Which is exactly why you're "sell 'em out" claim is suspect. You've got no guarantees to give that the PSLs will sell like the luxury boxes. You argument is basically 'non sequitur.'

"But as for selling them, considering the Niners have a long record of selling out and the above average disposable income in the valley I suspect they won't have much trouble. "

With tech companies shedding jobs left and right, and with the unemployment rate we have?

$20,000 for a PSL.

~$100 for a game ticket?

You must be joking, Dan.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 27, 2011 10:26 AM

If the NY Giants had trouble selling PSLs with their huge-ass season ticket waiting list, then there's no way the Niners will sell enough PSLs.

Posted by Sasha on July 27, 2011 11:56 AM

Here's the FofS link about the NY Giants 60,000 person waiting list for season tickets that evaporated when it came time to buy PSLs:

See the blog for a season ticket holder's point of view on the 49ers ticket prices and PSLs.

Given that Santa Clara's agency, the Stadium Authority, is expected to take on the risk of selling the PSLs, the 49ers should be honest with the public about what PSLs will cost. I've checked with friends who are season ticket holders, and they haven't been told yet what the PSL cost will be to keep their seats. So far, the 49ers aren't providing any information. See 'Extortion in the South Bay' by economist John Vrooman for an explanation of why teams want their host cities to take on the risk of selling the PSLs. Hint: It's not for the benefit of the host city. The PSL risk is how Oakland/Alameda County got stuck with a huge bond debt for the Coliseum renovations.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 27, 2011 01:01 PM

Al Davis will be dead soon, so his desire of staying put in Oakland is moot.

Posted by Wade on July 27, 2011 01:41 PM


NFL teams are family businesses, Mark Davis is the heir apparent.

Posted by santa clara jay on July 27, 2011 02:59 PM


Augusta, GA has a lot of economic black holes 358 days a year (restaurants, hotels, etc.). As long as the other 7 make up for it, who cares?

Posted by Ben Miller on July 27, 2011 04:53 PM

Because the possibilities for economic spinoffs are hugely reduced. If you're getting foot traffic 200 days a year, you might open a restaurant. If it's 7 or 10, it's worse than useless, because you have a big blank wall for a neighbor most of the year.

Posted by Neil deMause on July 27, 2011 07:19 PM

The "other 7" never make up for it.

In fact, it's even worse for local restaurants because an NFL team's (publicly subsidized) stadium keeps all of that dollar traffic inside the stadium.

As for someone from Fremont spending money for a dinner in Santa Clara after they've spent hundreds inside that stadium, the idea strains credulity.

Once the game lets out, they'll be jam-packing it onto the expressways to get out of Dodge. They sure won't be spending any money in town.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 28, 2011 01:29 AM

Come on Bill it's not that hopeless...

If the stadium patrons need a tattoo or want to visit a porno book store, El Camino in SC in the place to be!

Posted by santa clara jay on July 28, 2011 02:22 AM

How about some Farmers Field coverage, Neil???

Posted by Los Angeles Chargers on July 28, 2011 02:24 AM


Augusta doesn't have extra infrastructure in terms of restaurants, hotels, etc. that are really Masters-specific. If you've ever been there for the event, you'd realize that instead existing restaurants, hotels, etc. just get slammed, and the excess traffic spills into places like Columbia, SC. If you don't believe me, try booking a hotel or going out to eat in Columbia et al the week of the Masters some time.

Posted by Erik G. on July 28, 2011 02:25 AM

Bill & Jay ...

Great points ... thanks for sharing some of the real facts!

What about the impact on the Convention Center? Can there still be conferences during football season? And, can conferences be booked years-out as they are now? And, golf ... soccer ... what happens to that during football season?

Posted by ReadyRanger on July 28, 2011 01:36 PM

There's an article in the current SC Weekly about how successful the convention center has been since its established 30 years ago.

SC Weekly is very pro-stadium, they make it seem like the stadium is a logical adjunct to the center. I can't speak very knowledgeably about convention centers, but unless all their business is shut down on game weekends, it would seem that a stadium would hurt business and have potential clients looking to book elsewhere.

Likewise the citizen soccer fields, golf, tennis, etc. Forget about using them.

Posted by santa clara jay on July 29, 2011 12:44 AM


While 160 police officers are trying to park 22,000 cars on private lands, using 31 traffic checkpoints north of U.S. 101, and blockading Tasman Drive at the stadium site --

-- Virtually no one will be able to reach the Convention Center unless they get started before 7:00 am! Once there, they're stuck there until long after the stadium traffic has dissipated, unless they leave during the game.

The Stadium Mob is desperate to prove some kind of "synergy" between an NFL stadium and simultaneous events. IMO, it simply ain't there.

David's, the Golf and Tennis Club, the Soccer Park and the Convention Center will be difficult if not impossible to utilize during NFL events.

Double your NFL games, reduce that utility still further.

Since you asked about the Convention Center, I just can't resist: In the Citizens' Advisory Committee meeting of June 28th, 2010, a representative of the Santa Clara Convention Center and Visitors Bureau actually told us that, because the Stadium Authority is forming a Parking District to rake in parking fees on those private parking spaces, the Convention Center planned on doing the same thing.

A quilter of my acquaintance shared that idea with some folks that actually do shows in Santa Clara - and the latter just about exploded. Margins on sales at those events are low enough; add parking fees which discourage show participants from coming to Santa Clara, and you've pretty much taken away peoples' reasons for doing business here.

The claims that a subsidized NFL stadium is some kind of renaissance for Santa Clara is approaching the level of delusion, and charging for parking at our Convention Center is just one indicator of how far around the bend the Stadium Mob has gone.

Some bullets:

Let's blow more than $400,000,000 in subsidies for the San Francisco 49ers.

Let's let Jed York scoop out at least $130,000,000 out of the stadium in the first year alone.

Let's us Santa Clarans just settle for a lousy $180 THOU into our General Fund that same first year.

Let's create jobs that pay LESS THAN SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS a year.

While we're at it, why don't we simply generate less economic activity for our city - and our region - than the 49ers Training Center does today?

Yeah, let's charge the 49ers LESS THAN A TENTH for their City Ground Lease than Cedar Fair is paying Santa Clara over forty years.

Well, you get the idea.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Ref. (and links) for $7,000/YEAR stadium jobs: (Footnote has links)


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 29, 2011 02:05 AM

Bill, one question for you. If this was such a bad idea why did the city and citizens of Santa Clara go for it in a public vote? And what is driving your push against it at this point now that the stadium has been approved as has the funding? It's already a decided issue...

Posted by Dan on July 29, 2011 12:02 PM


Do you live in SC? Santa Clara isn't Palo Alto by a long shot. Therefore, the 49ers were able to buy the election.

I disagree that the stadium is a fait accompli at this juncture.

If you think the funding issues have been resolved-you're really not paying attention.

Posted by santa clara jay on July 29, 2011 02:22 PM

Dan, here's why the stadium (Measure J) won in Santa Clara. All of this has been out on the Santa Clara Plays Fair website.

1) Neil's rule of thumb to win a stadium election is to outspend opponents 100 to 1. The 49ers outspent opponents from somewhere between 250 to 1 to up to 500 to 1.
They spent $350 per 'yes' vote (a total of $5 million from the team, almost nothing from people who actually live here), while the 'no' side had less than $2 per 'no' vote (a total of $20,000 from actual Santa Clarans-we are not a wealthy city).

2) Voters don't realize that there is no 'truth in advertising' requirement in political campaigns because of freedom of speech. We therefore had a 'yes' campaign that did not disclose the costs, debt, or risks of the stadium. The Fair Political Practices Commission does not get involved with false/misleading campaign materials. Campaign materials did not disclose the $330 million that the Stadium Authority has to raise. The 49ers put out a false pie chart that showed the team responsible for 92% of the stadium construction costs, which is absolutely not true. The Term Sheet shows 53% 49ers and 47% Santa Clara and its agencies.

3) The newspapers here became shills for the stadium. Never-mind that they received big bucks for advertising dollars ($20,000 to our weekly 'newspaper'). The SJ Merc News published a correct pie chart of the stadium costs the day AFTER the election was over. Don't trust media outlets that stand to make money on a stadium to tell the truth about the costs/debt/risks.

4) The city council majority bent over backwards to accommodate everything the 49ers wanted, including a ballot question that didn't disclose costs, ballot language that read like an advertisement for the stadium and a city attorney's summary that didn't disclose costs or the debt the Stadium Authority would take on. Why? As our city attorney explained to a judge on April 5, 2010, CA state law does not require city ballot measures to contain a financial disclosure (county and state ballot measures do require such a disclosure). The 49ers campaign written ballot measure contained the text of the Term Sheet only and conveniently left off the 1-page table of costs.

5) The entire school board in Feb. 2010 and the superintendent of schools inappropriately stepped into city politics to endorse the stadium so that the RDA would get extended to give a kickball (SB211 amendment requirement) to the schools. They heavily advertised that the stadium was giving money to the schools (it won't, it's our own property tax dollars from the RDA that go to the schools, any RDA project would trigger a kickback), even suggesting that the stadium would keep our class sizes small, which is absolutely not true.

6) The June 2, 2009 Term Sheet promised us 2 votes: one on the stadium, and one on whether or not to allow the 49ers to bypass our city charter requirement for competitive bidding. The 49ers did some polling and must have found that Santa Clarans would not vote to override our charter. The 49ers therefore by late June 2009 had gone to the state to have special legislation written just for them, so that they could take away our right to vote on a charter change. The SJ Merc showed that the 49ers spent $73,000 on lobbyists in Sacramento to have that legislation put through. Taking away our right to vote made it easier on the 49ers because they didn't have 2 separate questions on the ballot.

When people are saturated with a campaign that promises them a billion dollar stadium for free, when people are saturated with multiple pieces of mail each week, bombarded with radio and TV commercials all saying the same thing, when people are provided with ballot materials that are advertising rather than the truth, of course many people who buy the campaign information are going to vote 'yes'.

Are you getting the picture? The election was bought. The financial consequences from the amount of debt the city's agencies are going to take on (including massive loans from the 49ers) have the potential to make the Stadium Authority go insolvent. The city has spent about $4 million so far on consultants and city staff time. City staff aren't available for their regular jobs because they're spending time on the stadium. Our city has furlough days, salary rollbacks, and lay-offs. We don't have money. We're too small a city to take on the debt required for an NFL stadium.

Just because enough people were convinced that they can get a stadium for free, with no costs or risks, doesn't mean that the rest of us who really know what's going on here have decided to be okay with the direction our city is headed. Just because enough people voted 'yes' because they didn't pay attention to the EIR and the dire consequences predicted on traffic/parking on NFL game days doesn't mean those problems identified in the EIR are going to go away. Just because the stadium boosters on our city council say that 'all is well' doesn't mean that all is really well, or that the rest of us are buying what they're shoveling at us. The NFL is out to make money for the owners, not for their host cities.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 29, 2011 05:50 PM

Furthermore Dan,

Our mayor, Jamie Matthews, just doesn't give the impression of being very bright. Embarrassing but true.

He's fine for cutting ribbons at ice cream parlour openings or giving an inspirational speech to fifth graders, but negotiating on a football stadium? No, I don't think so.

Posted by santa clara jay on July 29, 2011 06:50 PM

Point is SCT, isn't your effort too little too late? I mean it's passed. It's in the pipeline if the funding is accomplished (and I'll grant you that's an IF at this point). But what can you hope to do about it by advertising what you see as the downsides now after the fact other than notifying people you feel they've been duped? It's not like you can undo the past election.

Posted by Dan on July 29, 2011 07:12 PM

We can't undo the election -(and all of the above information was communicated if people were interested in educating themselves and read the materials put out by the 'No' side), but:
1) there's no signed contract yet. It's still being negotiated behind closed doors. We can make the public aware of the risks/debt/costs so that people can let the city council know what risks etc. people find unacceptable. People can demand a contract that meets the campaign promises (no cost to our General Fund, no tax increase etc.) People can (and have) let the city know they're really unhappy with the giveaway of RDA funds for 'safekeeping' to the 49ers (without a contract) and the double dipping by our former police chief and former asst. city manager and the giveaway of free police escorts to the 49ers from 2007 until late 2010 when they were discovered.
2) Oakland and SF are still working on their plans. SC is not a done deal. IF fans really knew what they're expected to pay in PSLs (another item the pro-stadium side neglected to tell people during the campaign) and if fans really knew just how bad the EIR predicts the parking/traffic/lack of tailgating/problems with weeknight games/loss of use of surrounding facilities/lack of direct freeway access/no bart etc. will be, will fans really want the stadium to be built in SC? Fans have a right to know what their gameday experience will be and just how many problems the Santa Clara site really has.
3) Will investors want to invest if they knew how misleading the 'yes' campaign was? If they knew that Santa Clarans right to vote on a change in their city charter was taken away (which many of us think is a violation of our constitutional right to vote)? If they knew about the state of Santa Clara's finances? If they knew that the ballot language was purposefully written to not disclose costs in order to get 'yes' votes? Do investors really want their company name associated with such behavior?
4) Tech companies here have laid off people left and right. Lots of people are underwater in their mortgages, the foreclosure rate is high, property values have continued to decline, unemployment is high etc. Is this really a good time for people to invest in a billion dollar entertainment venue that will be used 10 days/year for 1 team, which will make the team hundreds of millions and the city will get a negative return on investment, as shown by the city's consultants?
5) Santa Clarans also have the right to know about all of the loans the city is planning. A loan from the 49ers in advance of the RDA funds. A aoan from the 49ers in advance of the collection of hotel taxes. And in the most recent city communication, more loan advances from the 49ers to the Stadium Authority, with no communication about that loan will be paid back. How deeply into debt do Santa Clarans want to see our city agencies go? People living here have a right to know what our council is getting us into financially. The only firm financial commitment the election made was $40 million in RDA funds. It seems that the risks are quite high for what our council majority is committing us to through the Stadium Authority.
As a reporter for the Santa Clara Weekly said last week, she thinks the first people who will call for our General Fund to bail out an insolvent Stadium Authority will be the first people who said 'no cost to our General Fund', 'ironclad taxpayer protections' etc. during the election.

We can't undo the election but we can continue to tell the truth about the costs/debt/risks and EIR.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 29, 2011 09:48 PM

Bill's info on 130M going to the 49ers the first year is false. Also the 180k Santa Clara gets as well is.

You cannot predict those #s until the full financing picture has come into play.

Your "Santa Clara plays fair" agency is a waste of money and time and needs to be dissolved. You are spreading propaganda on levels the 49ers and the City of Santa Clara could never reach.

That is not an insult but a fact. You guys lost bitterly in the election and Santa Clara is a small enough city where if your group was right the city would have voted in your favor.

The $$ the 49ers spent on the election is irrelevant because of this.

The City Council and School Board are with the 49ers....You seem to think your smarter than these people.

You don't think they each have lawyers and people who put in extensive time and effort to determine if this would be a good venture or not?

Those resources are far beyond yours. You use this website to "cry over spilled milk", but it will not change a thing. The stadium is getting built like it or not as evidenced by the NFL pitching in.

Using the Raiders and their debacle in Oakland is not a good example. Santa Clara is in the heart of Silicon Valley and 49ers fans have far more $$ than Raider fans....not even a comparison.

49ers fans are loyal and are rich. They still sell out that dump in Candlestick despite 8 straight losing seasons.

Selling Stadium Builder Licenses and luxury suites are no issue in a rich area like Santa Clara County....Hence the 150M already sold in boxes with several left.

Like it or not the stadium gets built and voters have had their say....Calm down and let's see what happens.

"Crying over spilled milk" never helps the cause. At this point like everyone else just go with it.

Posted by Sid on July 30, 2011 02:50 PM


You may believe your own falsehoods as you wish - but the first-year payment of only $180,000 into our City's General Fund is the absolute truth.

It is not only in the Term Sheet you will find online under the June 2, 2009 City Council Meeting, it is in the Complete Text of Measure J, Section 4.3a.

If you don't have the facts, feel free to stick with your falsehoods if they make you feel warm and snug - but just don't expect responsible folk to fall for them.

Looks like you managed to burn yourself out here just as you did in the previous "Raiders, 49ers" thread.

As for the election, note that even though he outspent us by 225 to 1, Jed York couldn't even get 1-1/2 votes for every vote we got.

I'm sorry we didn't win it, but I'm very proud of my group --- and of the Santa Clarans who donated to us and who walked nearly every last precinct in our city.

You're falling into the same trap as Dan does above, there, Sid - "We won our little vote and our special treatment, so all of you guys have to be still."

No. We don't.

Gosh - what is it you're so afraid of, Sid?

Best regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer,

Ref: For the truth about the Ground Lease that Sid obviously can't handle, see the "June 2, 2009" entries, "Exhibit 5," here:

By any definition, the Ground Lease accepted by our City Council is atrocious.

Posted by Bill Bailey on July 30, 2011 03:41 PM

Note that we as Santa Clarans get to pay over $400,000,000 to subsidize the San Francisco 49ers in our city.

Dan and Sid pay nothing.

Folks who think they know how we Santa Clarans should spend our public money, after the city layoffs and program cutbacks we've endured, should probably have a little more skin in the game - and they should have a much clearer grasp of the facts before they do that: (see comment thread)

In other words, commentators from San who heard exactly what they wanted to hear on the San Jose soccer arena deal now want us Santa Clarans to accept their unsustainable arguments in favor of a subsidy for the San Francisco 49ers which is likely to rise to half a billion dollars out of a single Santa Clara agency.

Sorry, Dan and Sid. But it's "No Sale."

All the best,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer,


Posted by Bill Bailey on July 30, 2011 04:20 PM

Sid writes:

>>>You don't think they each have lawyers and people who put in extensive time and effort to determine if this would be a good venture or not?<<<

Exactly, Sid the 49ers have lawyers and other clever people who've determined that this is a "good venture" for them. They of course could care a less about the citizens of Santa Clara.

Posted by santa clara jay on July 30, 2011 05:41 PM

Well, it looks like the 49ers are going to have a horrendous season this year. That should, hopefully, torpedo the Santa Clara deal and send them packing to LA. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Posted by John on July 30, 2011 06:05 PM

Sid writes:

>>>You don't think they each have lawyers and people who put in extensive time and effort to determine if this would be a good venture or not? $200 million in interest on bonds). In reality the city and its agencies are responsible for 47% (and the latest from the city shows that number is even higher). The board didn't bother to have any of the opposing city council members or the city manager come to the board meeting to tell the truth about the costs/debt/risks. Had the school district asked County Counsel (which provides legal services to school districts), they would have been told to follow the Ed. Code on campaigning. The schools superintendent at that time was even on youtube reciting a poem to the 49ers.

There were no lawyers involved except for the 49ers lawyers, including an expensive lawyer consultant who is an expert on ballot initiatives, who would have known that CA law does not require that costs be disclosed on a city-wide ballot measure.

Had the stadium measure been a Santa Clara County measure instead of a Santa Clara City measure, the costs would have been disclosed as required by state law.

Yes Measure J won, but people here who know what went on will not forget all of the false/misleading statements put forth to get a 'yes' on that campaign.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 30, 2011 07:29 PM

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