Monday, November 28, 2011

49ers' Stadium Subsidy Ticker: 99 Secret Meetings - and the $6 MILLION we DON'T have.

Dear Santa Clarans,

In late April of 2007, the San Francisco 49ers demanded that our City Council sign a "Confidentiality Agreement" - and that our elected leaders take virtually all dealings involving the stadium site and parcels into Closed Session, out of the view of Santa Clara residents. The Closed Sessions are indicated - with no details - in the "Action Summaries" here.

Also, Santa Clara Agencies have paid cash to consultants on everything from the Feasibility Study to the Term Sheet - and now for the Disposition and Development Agreement, or DDA. A summary of those payments and to whom they have been made is here.

Finally, Santa Clara Agencies will be borrowing what they do not have in order to finance not only the make-ready work and the stadium's construction costs, but very possibly the costs of operating the stadium for the 49ers, too.  Those dollar amounts will be reported here periodically.

As of this date:

99: The number of secret Closed Sessions that our City Council or Agencies have held with the San Francisco 49ers or with JMA Ventures, LLC, concerning the stadium site and parcels since May 1st, 2007. 

$3,200,000: The total of Santa Clara Agency cash paid to 49ers consultants since April 3rd, 2007.

$6,000,000:  The total that the Santa Clara Stadium Authority does not have for the stadium's "make-ready" work - which they must now borrow from the 49ers themselves and pay back with interest.

The count of Closed Sessions above is in fact quite conservative and it's more than fair to the 49ers' Stadium Boosters on our City Council:
  • Only meetings actually held between the city and the 49ers or with JMA Ventures, LLC, for the purpose of discussing the "five parcels" are counted here.
  • Secret Council and Agency meetings held one right after the other are counted as only one Closed Session.
  • The "Sweetheart Hotel" negotiations with Montana/DeBartolo are not counted.
  • Scheduled Closed Sessions "Not Held" - and, of course, city employee CBU negotiating sessions - are not counted.
We're very serious about the secret Closed Sessions - and we're happy to clear the air about how we've been accurately tallying them.

Best regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer,
Santa Clara Plays


Monday, November 21, 2011

A Stadium Fact: There is NO cap on the 49ers' Stadium Subsidies

Dear Santa Clarans,

There have been several claims in the media these last few weeks that Santa Clara's subsidy of the San Francisco 49ers is somehow "capped" at $42 million.  Unfortunately, this claim is completely false.

Pull out a Sample Ballot or other any other materials you wish covering Measure Jed from last June - and note that the total debt down to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority is not limited in any way.   The oversimplification being used by the 49ers' Stadium Boosters (this time) is that the Redevelopment Agency is only down for $42 million, and 'gosh, that's all.'

It's not.

Remember that the 49ers demanded our votes on Measure Jed by "estimating" that they'd be covering $493 million of a $937 million stadium.  On June 7th, however, City Staff informed us that the team only wants to pay "15% to 25%" of the costs of a $987 million stadium.

This is the way the game is played:  Euchre voters into signing a blank check, with meaningless (or broken) promises that debt is capped (or that the General Fund won't be touched, even though the Stadium Subsidy does cost it a bundle.).  About a year later, trumpet the passage of the bill, Measure Jed, then tell city residents that the public debt down to another city Agency is no longer the $330,000,000 claimed a year ago, but in fact may nearly double.

Imagine a situation where a destitute brother-in-law swears he only needs to put $330 on one of your credit cards - then imagine the uproar when you get the bill from the bank at the end of the month, and when you find that he charged $626 to that card.

The same game is being played here in Santa Clara - the debt that the San Francisco 49ers won't cover is going to be shoved onto the Stadium Authority - and there's apparently very little that the five "49ers' Stadium Boosters" on our City Council are willing to do to stop it.

The 49ers also made a promise that they'd be covering all construction cost overruns.  But who can tell what's an "overrun" if it's suddenly deemed not to be a 49ers Development Cost?  When that happens, it's a virtual certainty that the Santa Clara Stadium Authority will be stuck with it.

In essence:  Stadium Boosters continue to claim that the Stadium Authority is going to magically pay for all of this with just naming rights and Personal Seat License collections - and that it will then have enough dough to run a stadium for the 49ers for about $30,000,000 every year.

That claim sounds sillier all the time.

Thanks for all of your support,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,