Thursday, July 9, 2009

49ers Stadium: The $800 MILLION MYTH

Santa Clarans,

We're sure grateful to have met more of you in Central Park last Saturday before the fireworks display.

And we appreciate also the kind of City leadership that enabled our own city's fireworks to proceed while so many municipalities around us were forced to cancel their own. So, welcome to the visitors who took a place on the lawn and celebrated right along with us!

It's time. May I bust up another "Stadium Myth"?

This one cropped up several times in our outreach on the Fourth of July, and it bears some resemblance to the falsehoods previously published in the local press.

Looks like it's time to put a fork in it - again - to show that it's completely overdone:

Stadium boosters persist in the false claim that Santa Clara is getting a good deal 'because the 49ers are paying $800 million and we're only paying $100 million'.

That's completely untrue. The 49ers are not paying $800 million for any stadium, least of all for any stadium in Santa Clara.

Debunking this myth is a snap - we need only go to the actual exhibits from the Term Sheet vote by the City Council on July 2nd, 2009:

The true contributions to the construction costs of the stadium are:

$330 million: Santa Clara Stadium Authority
$114 million: City/RDA (Sum of $42M + $35M + $37M)
$493 million: Team/NFL

You can see the sleight-of-hand at work with this card trick: Stadium proponents still believe they're entitled to tack the Stadium Authority's contribution onto the Team/NFL contribution.

That's deceptive and it's untrue.

Let's be clear: The Santa Clara Stadium Authority will need to issue bonds in order to raise that $330 million - and not one penny of that money will ever come from the San Francisco 49ers or from the York family.

Let's be even clearer: Note that the Stadium Authority's bonds will almost surely have a much lower rating than the RDA's own bonds,
meaning that the Stadium Authority will be under tremendous pressure to milk every possible revenue source to pay off their higher coupon, or interest: Naming rights, Personal Seat Licenses, an "Admissions Tax", concessionaire equity...

I have to ask - yet again: If a stadium has all the benefits claimed by its proponents, why do the 49ers and their stadium supporters feel the need to deceive us about the true costs of the stadium - and about who's really paying?

Thanks, Santa Clarans, for your support,

Bill Bailey, Treasurer of Santa Clara Plays Fair

For your convenience, here's a link to City Council Minutes and Exhibits, especially those from June 2 (Term Sheet vote) and June 23, 2009 (Convention Center Space Vote):
(Page down to "June 2, 2009")

(December 4, 2009: Repaired link to new city website...)