Saturday, May 5, 2007

Real Money

In all their glossy brochures, the San Francisco 49ers don't mention the amount of money that they're asking from the city, but they did have to give an actual number in their presentation to the City Council.

$160 million in cold, hard cash.

Yes, that's right.

$160 million.

Using the 2000 census figure of 102,361 residents, that works out to $1,563.10 per resident.

But it's only $1,400.58 per resident if you use the California Department of Finance's recently released estimate of 114,238 residents.

A bargain, right?

Well, don't put your checkbook away just yet, because that's not all the San Francisco 49ers want from Santa Clara.

They also want the city to relocate or reconfigure a substation that’s currently located on the property. Their estimate for that item? Just an additional $20-30 million.

So add $290 or so to that check.

But wait, there’s more! The city has plans to build a new parking garage for the Convention Center. The San Francisco 49ers want Santa Clara to build the parking garage on the stadium property instead. In the City Council Meeting, the City Manager stated that she considered this request to be an additional contribution the city would be making to this project.

But what’s a $47 million parking garage among friends?

Just add another $450 to that check you’re writing—that should cover it.

In case you’ve lost track, that’s about $2,140 PER PERSON the City of Santa Clara will be kicking in to this project on your behalf.

Be sure to send a thank you note.

But that’s not all the San Francisco 49ers need.

You can’t build a stadium in the air, so the San Francisco 49ers also want the city to contribute 15 acres of prime real estate to this project.

Currently, this land is used as a parking lot for Great America, and the city has a long-term commitment to Great America to provide parking. So, while the city doesn’t need to buy land for the San Francisco 49ers, they will need to replace the parking for Great America as part of their agreement with the park. Of course, as with so much else about this project, there’s no information yet about how this will happen or what the costs might be.

A conservative estimate of the value of this land, however, is in the range of $60 million. Of course, neither the San Francisco 49ers nor certain members of the Santa Clara City Council want to count the value of this land as a contribution the city will be making toward this project.

And you can understand why—if residents knew that the city was actually considering contributing in excess of $297 MILLION in assets (cash, land, and property) to this project (nearly double the $160 million figure the San Francisco 49ers and certain members of the Santa Clara City Council repeatedly quote), the residents of Santa Clara might revolt and let the team go back to San Francisco with their stadium plans.

For those keeping score at home, we're now up to $2,901.50 PER RESIDENT.

[Edited to add: The $2,901.50 is based on the 2000 census figure. Using the California Department of Finance's recently released estimate of 114,238 residents, the per resident cost is a mere $2,600 PER RESIDENT.]

By the way, it’s worth noting that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced a stadium plan on March 27, 2007. Under this proposal, the city of San Francisco would contribute land but would NOT provide any public financing for the stadium construction.

You can read the article here:

City unveils new 49ers stadium proposal

The value of the San Francisco land is a little harder to determine right now—it’s a toxic Superfund site that’s in the process of being cleaned up—but even if the value of the land is a bit higher, San Francisco has approximately 744,041 residents, so the per resident contribution is closer to $80.

You read that right—$80 per resident.

If the Santa Clara City Council was preparing to spend a comparable per resident amount, its tab for this project would be under $1 million, or about a quarter an acre of land.

And at that price, I’d be happy to support this project.

If you’d like to read San Francisco 49ers’ proposal to the city of Santa Clara, you can find it online here:

San Francisco 49ers’ proposal


Anonymous said...

I suppose any of us could try to tell San Franciscans what they 'should' do. But I sure wish someone would comment: If Hunters Point requires Superfund cleanup, is there any reason why the Yorks can't use the current 'Stick' location?

I see far better freeway access with the 'Stick' than I do with any stadium in Santa Clara. And it might possibly be even better than at Hunters Point.

Anonymous said...

The math was correct until you factored in the substation, the parking garage and the projected land value. You used the old census figure for Santa Clara's population to get $2901.5/per person.

$297000000/114238 = $2599.84

Stadium Facts said...

Actually, the 2000 census figure is the most recent census figure, although the actual population has probably changed since then.

The California Department of Finance population estimate of Santa Clara's population on January 1, 2007 is 114,238.

I'm happy to use the second number in future posts, and I'll edit the original post to include this information.

Anonymous said...

Half the money you send to government is ripped off by the wealthy and corporate socialists that have taken control of you tax dollar for their benefit. Read Free Lunch, by David Cay Johnston, and get a real blood pressure spike. After meditating and some aspirin, start writing, emailing your congressman. People don't realize how good governance makes a difference in your quality of life, and when money is being spent on things like stadiums for billionaires, tax dollars are being diverted from parks, sewage, water, schools, etc.. The wealthy have turned into the Red Coats, and we must be Patriots and institute the take back—the "Boston Tea Party." Dan