49ers/Raiders Stadium Violence

1) 49ers stadium fan violence: 2 men shot/1 man beaten unconscious at a Sunday, August 2011 49ers/Raiders game at Candlestick Park.
SJ Merc:
Two men fighting for lives after bloody 49ers-Raiders game violence

Gang rivalry blamed for some of the violence


"Two men are fighting for their lives after one was savagely beaten in a Candlestick Park bathroom during the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders exhibition game and another was shot several times after the game in a double shooting in the parking lot." One man was shot 2-4 times in the stomach and the other was shot in the face.
"Fight after fight broke out in the stadium -- so many that Oakland grandmother and Raiders fan Cynthia Chavarria said she lost count. "The police, it took them forever to get to each location, and people were just being beat up,'' she said, describing the scene in the parking lot as "total chaos." Video clips posted on the internet show fighting in the stands, in the parking lot, and in the concourse behind the stands.  Comments posted on the SJ Merc article further describe the fan violence before/during/after the game.

Monday 8/22 SJ Merc Letter to the Editor: "Stadium violence a cautionary tale
The recent shootings following the Raiders-49ers game should be a wake-up call to Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews and the majority of City Council members who have ignored the many concerns raised regarding the building of the stadium. They have shamefully opted to give Jed York and the 49ers money that should have gone to city services.

Now it appears that this council wants the stadium at any cost without regard for public safety. Apparently our citizenry is less important than a free box seat. Stop this project before it's too late and focus on the real needs of our community. Don't invite increased crime rates to our city.
Edward Donati, Santa Clara"

The Term Sheet contains a threshold on what the 49ers will pay for public safety costs.  The 49ers have NOT agreed to pay all NFL game day public safety costs.  Santa Clarans could easily get stuck with the bill for public safety costs above that threshold.
Recall that Measure J allows the 49ers to sublease the stadium to the Raiders. Santa Clarans get no say in whether or not the Raiders can use a Santa Clara stadium.


 

1) More on 49ers/Raiders game fan violence in the stadium and parking lot:

SJ Merc "Santa Clara City Councilwoman Jamie McLeod said she wants a "full and robust public discussion" about security. If the Raiders join the Niners to play in a future Santa Clara stadium, she said, the tragedy that happened over the weekend at Candlestick "is a harbinger of more to come." "

Tuesday 8/23 SJ Merc Letters to the Editor:

Spend the money on city, not stadium
I agree that the Santa Clara City Council is totally ignoring the overall impact of the stadium (Letters, Aug. 22) so that they can check off a box and say, "see what we did, we brought the 49ers to Santa Clara."

The voter approval was a farce funded by the 49ers under the auspices of Save our Schools. The "majority" vote represented 25 percent of the total population -- hardly a win. Many don't want the traffic, pollution, crime, and garbage generated by the team. This can only be exacerbated if by chance the 49ers and Raiders both use the stadium. Mayor Jamie Matthews take heed, the majority will speak next election. Take the money set aside for the stadium and focus on the city.
Jean Caisse   Santa Clara


Importing crime along with teams
Last weekend's violence at the San Francisco 49ers football game is just a precursor to what the residents of Santa Clara have to look forward to. Because of the greed and "starry eyes" of the City Council, we will now be bringing this additional crime (as well as other detriments like traffic) to our fair city, and will watch it go to ruin, much like Oakland has.
Brian Chang Santa Clara


Wed. August 24 SF Chronicle Letters to the Editor:

You really want this, Santa Clara?

The fan violence at Candlestick Park during and after the Raiders-49ers game was abhorrent.  These problems will shift to Santa Clara in 2015. I hate to see the Niners leave town, but problems like this will not be missed.
Phil Points, San Francisco

 

Protect your fans

The violence at Candlestick Park is another result of the greed of the York family and its total disregard for the fans.  They have raised ticket prices almost every year with no improvement in the product. They charge $30 for parking but provide no lighting in the lots or security - they collect the money and let the fans fend for themselves.  Apparently, Jed York's statement that "money is no object" applies only to the hiring of a head coach, not to the security of the fans.
Eddie Lee Ebony, San Francisco

Wed. August 24th Santa Clara Weekly Letters to the Editor

I was against the 49er stadium being built in Santa Clara from the very beginning.  Now after all of the violence at Saturday's game with the Raiders, I'm even more convinced that this is bad idea.  The NFL obviously has enough money to spend on added security, but they sure don't care about keeping the fans safe.

There has been increased violence at sports events, and until they stop the excessive drinking, it is only going to get worse.  And it looks like the NFL won't give the 49ers money for a stadium unless they share it with the Raiders.  Is this what our city officials want for our City?

I read that Mayor Matthews won't give up on the stadium; what about cutting our losses while we can?  Our City Manager, Mayor, and City Council members are a bunch of idiots and should all be recalled!
Rosemary Grow, Santa Clara


This past weekend's stadium violence between 49er and Raider fans is another reason why building the 49er Stadium in Santa Clara is a bad idea. Even though there was some security at the stadium to help prevent some of it from getting worse, it still happened.
Alan Eft, Santa Clara

More on 49ers/Raiders fan violence FROM THE PRINT MEDIA:

The Bay Citizen The violence occured despite a police presence that was 40% more than normal.  "dozens of brawls broke out in at atmosphere fans described as out of control even as authorities called in for backup starting in the second quarter."  Some fans say the violence has become the norm.   "Videos and fan testimony revealed brawls inside the stadium that went seemingly unchecked by security and police."  The president of the Oakland Police Officers Association said, "Is anyone really surprised?  I'm not.  This is nothing new."

SF Chronicle
"Said vice president of stadium operations and security Jim Mercurio, "In my 19 years doing this never, and I'll repeat, never, have I ever had to deal with the amount of calls for service, the amount of fights, the amount of behavior that is absolutely not accepted, at our stadium, or, quite frankly, at any other sporting event across the country."  (Note: This is a man who stood in front of our City Council and told us all that the traffic plan and the public safety plan for a stadium in Santa Clara were just hunky-dory.)

SJ Merc Editorial "But merely bringing a few more police officers to the stadium won't contain spectators who have been drinking heavily or are spoiling for a fight or both."

SJ Merc Booze crackdown coming to Candlestick,  "San Francisco police will hold DUI checkpoints after every game.  Fans will only be able to tailgate during the four hours before the game starts.(Note - With no dedicated parking lot around SC's stadium, where will police hold DUI checkpoints, how will police limit tailgating to 4 hours, how will police stop tailgating once the game starts?)

SJ Merc Columnist Mark Purdy has heard fans say: "I won't take my kids to a game,"  "The NFL has a problem. It has friends in low places. Some of those friends showed up Saturday night at Candlestick Park. They turned the parking lot and some parts of the stadium into a fight club and combat zone. This was very bad. But don't buy the notion that this was isolated to a Raiders-49ers matchup." "I have been to New England where a grown man, obviously inebriated, decided to urinate on my rental car tires, just minutes after I pulled into the parking lot. At a Philadelphia Eagles home game, I have seen bottle rockets and cherry bombs fly through the air above the stadium as fights broke out in the seats. In 2004, a man was beaten unconscious in the stands at a San Diego Chargers home game."

SF Chronicle See a long list of police-documented game-night incidents of violence at the 49ers/Raiders game.

SF Chronicle "The 49ers said they would take steps to limit tailgating starting with the exhibition game against the Houston Texans on Saturday, including not opening the parking lot until four hours before kickoff. Currently, in an effort to minimize traffic problems, the team opens the gates when a line forms."   (Note - there's no way to control how early fans will arrive in Santa Clara without a dedicated parking lot!)

Violence in Stands worries the players too. "Brian Jennings - the 49ers' longest tenured active player - has made a decision to never bring the family to a 49ers-Raiders game. "It's against Jennings family policy," he said. "

SF Chronicle Carmen Policy:  "After Saturday, I heard so many people say, 'I'm not bringing my kids anymore,' "

2) WARNING - The Term Sheet Limits what 49ers will pay for public safety costs at the stadium per game, and the total number of officers proposed is less than what Oakland uses now in the Coliseum.


Santa Clara will need many many police officers to handle the 31 police checkpoints, numerous street closures, cordoned off north-side neighborhoods, gridlocked traffic mess, and the use of many businesses parking lots because the stadium has no parking lot of its own. That doesn't count policing needed because of the type of fan violence witnessed at Candlestick stadium and parking lot at the 49ers/Raiders game this past weekend.


The Term Sheet contains a threshold on what the 49ers will pay for public safety costs per game.  The 49ers have NOT agreed to pay all NFL game day public safety costs.  The Term Sheet calls for the 49ers and Santa Clara to enter into arbitration if game day public safety costs exceed the threshold.  Santa Clara's Stadium Authority could easily get stuck with the bill for public safety costs above that threshold.

Santa Clara does not even have enough police officers on its police force to staff an NFL game.


Recall that Measure J allows the 49ers to sublease the stadium to the Raiders. Santa Clarans get no say in whether or not the Raiders can use a Santa Clara stadium.

Problems:
  • No possible structure that SC's Stadium Authority could create would protect us from the same type of fan behavior reported from last Saturday's 49ers/Raiders game.
  • The Term Sheet calls for 160 officers to control traffic.  That's less than what Oakland uses now (170-200) in the Coliseum.  Clearly, more police are needed to take care of brawls, drunkeness, etc., but the 49ers have placed a threshold on what they're willing to pay for public safety.
  • Without a dedicated parking lot, there's no way to control how early fans start drinking/tailgating and no way to stop drinking/tailgating once the game starts.
  • Santa Clara does not have a dedicated parking lot around the stadium site like Candlestick and the Coliseum have.  Fights and drunken behavior could  spread out all over parking lots and in neighborhoods on Santa Clara's north side.
  • The EIR predicts gridlocked traffic around the stadium.  Fans clearly drink before and during games, fueling brawls.  How will police get to brawls in the parking lots spread out over SC's north side?
  • The 49ers now plan to institute DUI checkpoints at Candlestick.  How will DUI checkpoints work when fans will be spread out in parking lots all over the north side of Santa Clara?
  • Do Santa Clara's businesses want this type of behavior in their parking lots?  What businesses will want the liability of a fight/shooting/beating in their parking lot as well as open b-b-q grills for tailgating?  What business will want port-a-potties for tailgaters in their parking lots?
  • Santa Clara currently has no plan to deal with the violence we just saw at Saturday's 49ers/Raiders game.
The real insult is that Santa Clara's agencies are on the hook for spending/raising hundreds of millions of dollars (including our RDA property tax dollars) to pay for this fiasco.

Are you concerned?  Please write the newspapers and our city council. Links provided below.

You can view the CC meetings online 24/7 via the internet at the following link:
http://santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=1504

Please write the Governor in support of phasing out the redevelopment agencies to keep our local property tax dollars local.

Here's the link to write to the Mayor and City Council:
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Would you like to write a letter to the editor of the Weekly (150 word limit) or the SJ  Mercury (125 word limit)? 
Here are the links:
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