Sunday, May 15, 2011

The 49ers' Subsidies and the Two-Team Myth

The rash claim over two NFL teams in Santa Clara appears to be making the rounds in our city yet again.

The myth:
"We're getting two NFL teams in Santa Clara."

Santa Clarans, you will get two NFL teams in Santa Clara ONLY if Jed York says you do.

Please remember that if you voted for Measure J last June, you handed the right of sublease to any second NFL team
strictly to Jed York himself. NO Santa Clara Agency, and not one single elected official in our city, has the power to contract with any second NFL team. Only the 49ers and their goods-marketing brigades will be allowed to do that. Even if they do: The 49ers - and not our Santa Clara Stadium Authority - collect the lion's share of the money from that sublease.

The proof is in Section 16.1 of the Term Sheet.

You will find that the 49ers front office desperately needs to blame their own stadium financing problems on the NFL players they just locked out. However, that's just not going to work: For two years running, the NFL Commissioner himself has made quite clear that any NFL contribution to a Bay Area stadium will be to ONE Bay Area stadium, and not to two of them. As the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders are in the bottom six of revenue producers in the NFL (see here), the other thirty millionaire owners are probably not very sympathetic to the Yorks - and certainly not to Al Davis. Putting the league off on this issue is another example of the 49ers' front office shooting themselves in the foot.

But in a broader sense, the "stadium boosters" - on and off of the City Council dais - might want to be real careful with their wildly inaccurate claims about any second team in Santa Clara.

They might
finally be asked: "If you really think you're getting TWO NFL Millionaires in our city...

"...why are you demanding that Santa Clarans pay $444,000,000 to subsidize those TWO NFL Millionaires when the two of them together could obviously afford to build and operate their own stadium with NO public subsidy?"

Thanks for all of your support,
Bill Bailey, Treasure,

Why the 49ers' Term Sheet rips us off