Timeline 2009 Stadium Gameplan Exposed

April/May 2009

Santa Clara's City Charter requires competitive bidding on contracts when public funds are used; public funding for a stadium will require competitive bidding for construction contracts.  The only way that the 49ers can override our city charter requirement for competitive bidding is with a 2/3 majority vote.  In spring, a telephone poll is conducted to gage voter sentiment on allowing a charter override: "Would you allow the 49ers to override Santa Clara's City Charter requirement for competitive bidding when public funds are used?" The poll results are never made public, but unbeknownst to Santa Clarans, our right to vote on a charter change will be taken away by State Senator Elaine Alquist working with the 49ers and the Santa Clara City Council majority.


June 2, 2009

Survey USA asked 500 Santa Clara residents: "Do you think it's a good idea or a bad idea to use public money to build a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers?"

62% "Bad idea"

30% "Good idea"

8%   "Not sure"


June 2, 2009

The City Council approves the Term Sheet (5-2) after a long and contentious meeting in which stadium boosters, many of whom don't live in Santa Clara, flood city council chambers and long-time Santa Clara residents are shut out of chambers and stuffed into overflow seating.  Council Member Jamie McLeod asks many good questions but is gaveled down by Mayor Patricia Mahan.  The meeting runs so late that many long-time Santa Clarans who wanted to speak out against the stadium are not allowed time to speak.


The Term Sheet promises Santa Clarans two votes: one on the stadium itself, and one on whether or not the 49ers can override our City Charter requirement for competitive bidding. Council Members and the 49ers sign the Term Sheet which includes the promised vote on our city charter.


City Staff's Term Sheet Presentation shows that the stadium will cause a $67 Million loss to our General Fund and a two to one loss on the City's direct subsidy of $114 Million.  The Term Sheet table of stadium construction costs also shows $330 Million in debt for a new agency, Santa Clara's Stadium Authority, which will own and operate the stadium.


June 3, 2009

Jed York appears on Comcast Chronicle Live and shows a correct pie chart of the Term Sheet stadium construction costs, including $330 million in debt for Santa Clara's Stadium Authority and a direct subsidy of $114 Million from the city.  The 49ers and NFL share is listed as $493 Million.


This is the last time Santa Clarans will see a correct pie chart of the Term Sheet stadium construction costs from the 49ers, their pro-stadium campaign, or the pro-stadium members of Santa Clara's City Council.


June 3, 2009

The San Jose Mercury News puts out a correct pie chart of the stadium construction costs, and then does not publish the correct pie chart again until the day after the June 8, 2010 election.


June 2009/Summer 2009    

Hiding the Stadium Authority Begins

The 49ers put out a mailer which introduces a false pie chart of the stadium construction costs - this chart hides the Stadium Authority costs/debt/risks by showing that $823 million of the construction costs will be covered by the 49ers, NFL, and 'stadium revenues.'  The $330 Million in Stadium Authority debt is hidden from voters for the remainder of the campaign.


For the next year, this false pie chart will appear repeatedly in 49ers campaign mailers featuring Santa Clara City Council members/mayor, pro-stadium talks, and debates. It will be shown in talks by Mayor Patricia Mahan, Council Member Jamie Matthews, 49ers CEO Jed York (at the Santa Clara Unified School District board meeting), and 49ers campaign spokesperson and former Council Member Pat Kolstad.


Late-June 2009

State Senator Elaine Alquist guts and rewrites Senate Bill 43 (SB43) - which allows the 49ers to override Santa Clara's City Charter's competitive bid requirement and takes away our right to vote on a change to our city charter.  Mayor Mahan and Council Members Matthews and Moore travel to Sacramento to join with the 49ers and Building and Trades union members to lobby for SB43.


Summer 2009

Unbeknownst to Santa Clarans but later revealed by the City Manager (see youtube video), the 49ers were talking with city staff for almost two years about going to the state legislature to bypass our city charter requirement for competitive bidding rather than risk letting the citizens vote on a charter override.

Also not known to voters, the 49ers spend $73,000 successfully lobbying state legislators in Sacramento to pass SB43 (as reported by the San Jose Mercury News].)

The City Council appoints a Charter Review Committee which essentially rubberstamps SB43, agreeing with our City Council pro-stadium majority that it's okay to take away our right to vote.


October 2009

The Press picks up on the false pie chart and pro-stadium press releases, and helps hide the Stadium Authority and its loans/debt from voters.

SF Chronicle: "The remaining $823 million would come from the team, hoped-for NFL funding, the sale of naming rights and concession licenses, and other sources." The press ignores the Stadium Authority and the risk it poses for Santa Clara.


November 9, 2009

Jed York (49ers CEO and son of the owners) and Lisa Lang (49ers VP) form and become the Principal Officers for "Santa Clarans for Economic Progress (SCEP) - Sponsored and Major Funding by the Forty Niners Stadium LLC".  SCEP will later become the Yes on Measure J 49ers stadium campaign committee which will spend close to $5 Million convincing Santa Clarans to vote for the stadium.

At SCEP's helm as spokespersons are former Santa Clara Council Members Lisa Gillmor and Pat Kolstad.


Fall 2009

The harassment and cyberbullying of anyone who dares to express opposition to the stadium or public funding for a stadium continues by an adult male Santa Claran.  His harassment primarily involves hate speech/libelous statements on a free blog.  He finds names of stadium opponents from letters to the editor, letters to the city,  names of people who speak before the council - any and all become targets for his harassment (phone calles, emails, blog entries).  He harrasses Santa Clara Plays Fair through filing complaints which are always found to be false.  His harassment will escalate as time goes by.  Complaints to our City Council (pro-stadium members)/City Manager/City Attorney fall on deaf ears.  The city's vaunted Ethics Program remains silent about the harassment/cyberbullying.  Mayor Patricia Mahan will continue to hire him as a campaign consultant in 2010.


December 8, 2009

The City Council certifies the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) despite major problems with traffic/parking/noise/loss of use of surrounding facilities etc.  Northside residents are alarmed that their neighborhoods will be cordoned off and they will be required to show I.D. to get to their homes on NFL game days.  The EIR gives no indication that there will be a loss of use of the Youth Soccer Park because of the stadium.


December 15, 2009

City staff had been working with the 49ers on a stadium ballot measure based on the Term Sheet, but before the public sees a draft of a ballot measure written by city staff, 49ers VP Lisa Lang and SCEP spokesman Pat Kolstad announce plans to circulate a 'citizen's initiative' for a stadium ballot measure misleadingly called “The Santa Clara Stadium Taxpayer Protection and Economic Progress Act." The initiative reads like an advertisement for the stadium and does not disclose any Stadium Authority costs/debt/loans.  The initiative included the text of the non-binding Term Sheet (Exhibit 5) but not the one page Term Sheet table of costs (Exhibit 14).

Pro-stadium council members will later agree to use this deceptive ballot language rather than insist on an objective ballot measure (which includes all of the costs) written by city staff.

December 31, 2009

In November and December 2009, SCEP spent $397,352 on the stadium campaign, almost all of it from the 49ers owners.  Adding in the $73,000 spent by the 49ers for lobbying state legislators to get SB43 passed, the total for 2009 for the 49ers Stadium Campaign/SCEP was $470,000.  The massive spending is working to convince voters that the 49ers/NFL/Stadium revenues will be paying for the stadium, with no mention of any massive loans from the Stadium Authority.


In contrast, Santa Clara Plays Fair received $825 in contributions for 2009; almost every bit of it came from actual Santa Clarans.  We are not a wealthy community, and we don't have the big dollars to defend ourselves against outside special interests who seek to take financial advantage of the city.