Timeline Dec. 2011-Present Stadium Gamplan Exposed

December 2, 2011

18 months after the passage of Measure J, and after more than 100 closed door backroom negotiating sessions, the City Council releases the draft Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA - stadium contract between the city and the 49ers) and the Joinder (stadium financing agreement).  Santa Clara residents are shocked and outraged to see that our city council has signed up our Stadium Authority to take on $850 million in loans that were not revealed on the stadium ballot Measure J.

Santa Clara Plays Fair creates the following to compare what voters were told during the Measure J campaign on the left with the true pie chart of the stadium construction costs from the DDA on the right:




December 6 and 8, 2011

Two study sessions reveal:

  • A Goldman Sachs financing chart shows that the 49ers are putting up zero of their own dollars for stadium construction (there is no money shown on the arrow from the 49ers or Team.)
  • Our city's Stadium Authority ("Authority" on the chart) will take on $850 Million in previously undisclosed loans for stadium construction.  There will be a direct loan of $450 Million to our Stadium Authority, plus another l$400 Million oan made to the 49ers Stadium Company (Stadco) which will be shoveled over onto our Stadium Authority.
  • The stadium will be completely debt financed.
  • There are no parking/traffic mitigations.
  • The city and the 49ers admit that the Youth Soccer Park won't be usable on NFL game days.  There was no mention of a loss of use of the Youth Soccer Park in the Environmental Impact Report.

December 13, 2011

The Santa Clara City Council votes to accept the DDA and Joinder 7-0, ignoring the concerns of Santa Clarans about $850 Million in loans that were not disclosed on the Measure J ballot.

Council Member Kevin Moore talks fondly of putting up Yes on J yard signs at 2:30 am during the Measure J campaign.


Dec 20, 2011

SCPF decides to gather signatures for referendum petitions for both the DDA and Joinder.  The right to referendum is guaranteed by the CA Constitution and Santa Clara's City Charter. Election codes require that signatures be gathered "within 30 days of the date the adopted ordinance is attested by the City Clerk."

The attested, signed documents (DDA and Joinder and their associated resolutions 11-16 and 11-17 become available in the City Clerk's office after being sent to the east coast for signatures.  SCPF obtains documents from the City Clerk's office; while there, Santa Clara's City Attorney tells SCPF in front of witnesses that the resolutions can be subject to referendum.

SCPF beings printing petitions which follow the elections code requirements.  An extraordinary number of people volunteer to help circulate petitions.


December 27, 2011

SCPF circulates petitions for signatures, and finds that many Santa Clara voters feel betrayed by our city council.  People want to have the right to vote on the $850 million in loans.  Many sign who previously voted Yes on Measure J.  More and more people volunteer to help gather signatures.

Santa Clara Plays Fair receives help from the ACLU because the city is not following the law regarding allowing signatures to be gathered in front of the library and senior center. The ACLU intervenes and the city must comply with the law.


December 2011 - January 2012

The San Jose Mercury News will not run letters to the editor expressing opposition to the $850 million in loans or expressing concern about the risk of the loans.  Email from the SJ Mercury News Letters editor tells writers that they have to prove the city is at risk from the $850 million in loans.  The media ignore the fact that Measure J did not disclose any loans


January 6, 2012

The union IBEW posts on its website "AFFILIATES…we have been asked by the 49ers to generate between 10-20 individuals to act as "Interceptors" in an effort to derail a ballot referendum targeted at overturning the City of Santa Clara's recent vote to approve the Development Agreement with the 49ers." "Interceptors" would be paid $25/hour for 4 hours of work at a time.


The 49ers stadium campaign group, Santa Clarans for Economic Progress (SCEP) Major Funding by the 49ers Stadium LLC - comes back to life.  The Secretary of States's Website shows that SCEP has been re-animated for purposes of a "2012 election."

SCEP provides the union interceptors with fliers to hand out at locations where Santa Clara Plays Fair collects signatures.  There are up to 15 union blockers per SCPF signature gatherer at grocery stores.  When the blockers are filmed by a TV news crew, the union blockers refuse to say who is paying them. Union blockers also get into their vehicles to follow Santa Clara Plays Fair signature gatherers from location to location within Santa Clara.


SCEP also funds a full page color ad on the back of the Santa Clara Weekly telling people not to sign the petitions and threatening litigation against the people of Santa Clara.

January 7 & 8, 2012

SCPF holds 'Save Santa Clara Saturday' with successful petition signings all over the city on two weekends at the Farmer's Market, library, senior center, post office, and grocery stores.


January 10, 2012

To convince Great America to let the 49ers use the GA parking lot on game days, the City Council grants rent concessions to GA - their rent will essentially stay flat for the next 60 years despite inflation, and the city's General Fund will lose out on all of the income it could have made.  This violates the City's Guiding Principal 8 - that there would be no reduction in Great America income to the city due to the stadium - established at the start of the stadium contract negotiations years earlier.


The San Jose Mercury News and the Santa Clara Weekly runs editorials telling people not to sign the petitions. SJ Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold writes an opinion piece saying 'Just Say No' to signing the petitions. He writes that SCPF 'threw everything but the kitchen sink' at the No on J campaign - failing to note that SCPF had $20,000 to spend (almost all from Santa Clarans) whereas SCEP/Yes on J had almost $5 Million to spend.


January 13, 2012

City attorney Ren Nosky releases a letter to the media in which he states the DDA and Joinder are not 'referendable' because they are 'administrative acts' which followed from passage of stadium Measure J in June 2010, not 'legislative acts.'


San Francisco Radio Host Brian Sussman joins SCPF in gathering signatures at Savemart after he receives his bill from the 49ers for personal seat licenses, and is outraged at the cost.


January 2012

Yes on J/SCEP stadium campaign consultant Rich Robinson posts an article on San Jose Inside in which he: 1) fails to disclose that he was paid $23,000 as a consultant to SCEP, and 2) calls Santa Clarans who want the right to vote on $850 Million in loans 'miscreants' and 'obstructionists.'  The online personal attacks of Santa Clara voters who dare to raise concerns about the stadium financing continues.


January 18, 2012

Despite having to collect signatures during the holidays, the City Attorney's letter in the media, the union blockers, and editorials in newspapers telling people not to sign, SCPF submits 5,500 signatures on each of two petitions. A preliminary count at the City Clerk's office verifies that there are enough prima facie signatures.  The petitions are transported to the Registrar of Voters, where they are validated.  SCPF has collected more than enough signatures.


January 24, 2012  City Council Meeting

The council receives a letter from the Registrar of Voters stating that SCPF has enough signatures to qualify for referendums on the DDA and the Joinder.  By law, the council is supposed to either rescind its resolutions or put the DDA and Joinder to a vote of the people.  The city attorney tells the city council that he believes the referendums are invalid because the DDA and Joinder are merely 'administrative acts' to carry out Measure J.   He advises the council not to certify the petitions and to move to sue SCPF so that a judge can rule that the DDA and Joinder are not subject to referendum.  The Council votes 5-2 to not certify the petitions and to sue SCPF.

CBS coverage- http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/25/2nd-vote-on-49ers-stadium-project-rejected-by-santa-clara-city-council/

“The people of Santa Clara were deceived,” said one resident. “The city is being ripped off, that’s why people showed up and signed the petitions. We were not shown the true costs.”


A member of the broadcast media tells Santa Clara Plays Fair that pro-stadium people have called the station to say, "How dare you show the other side."


January 30, 2012

The City of Santa Clara sues its own citizens in Santa Clara County Superior Court to try to prove that the citizens do not have the right to vote on whether or not a city agency should take on $850 million in loans for the benefit of a private party.  The court sets mid-June as the court date.

Later that week, SCPF hires an excellent attorney, Matt Zinn of Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger LLP,  to defend our right to vote.


February 6, 2012

The 49ers Stadium Company (StadCo) files a court brief as a party of interest. StadCo sues not only Santa Clara Plays Fair but also the Stadium Authority, showing their willingness to sue not only the citizens of Santa Clara, but also the City itself. They ask for a court date of March 5th because ballot materials for a June election are due on March 9th.  The judge moves up the date to March 5, 2012.


February 13, 2012

The SJ Mercury News runs an inaccurate letter to the editor, which states that a judge has ruled that the referendums can't happen. That's false. The court case isn't until March 5th.  The SJ Mercury News runs a retraction the next day.


February 14, 2012

Santa Clara's City Council votes 5-1 (Kennedy votes no, McLeod is absent) to issue $878 Million in contracts for stadium construction, despite the pending lawsuit.  Council Member Will Kennedy dissents, stating that the council should wait another 3 weeks until the court case has been heard.



February 15, 2012

The Santa Clara Weekly runs the same false letter to the editor that appeared in the SJ Mercury News the previous day.  The Weekly continues its personal attacks against Santa Clara Plays Fair in editorials, articles, and letters to the editor.


Northside Santa Clara residents report that the Youth Soccer Park is now marked as a construction zone.


February 22, 2012

Santa Clara Plays Fair's attorney files SCPF's court brief.  Here's the link to all three court filings (the city's, StadCo's, and SCPF's):



Despite the pending lawsuit, the media continue to write only about pre-construction work at the stadium site and ignore the lawsuit.

February 29, 2012

Stadco's response to SCPF's attorney's court brief is due.


March 5, 2012

Scheduled court date.


March 6, 2012

Scheduled City Council meeting.