20 May 2009

Santa Clara stadium terms set

They worked well into the night, but they got the deal done. Terms are now defined for a stadium that could permanently bring the 49ers to Santa Clara.

Ah, but there's a catch! The City isn't going to release details of the deal until May 29, only 3 days in advance of the City Council's June 2nd session during which they could vote to approve the deal. If approved, the deal would go to the voters, probably in March 2010.

Based on the limited information we have about the deal, here's how it's put together:
  • $900 million total cost
  • ~$90 million upfront contribution from Santa Clara (Redevelopment funds)
  • ~$330 million from Stadium Authority (quasi-public, using naming rights, PSL's, ticket taxes for revenue)
  • ~$363 million from 49ers/NFL (G3-style fund covering premium seating)
  • $62 million to relocate PG&E substation and build garage
Don't bother adding up the numbers because they don't add up yet. We'll see in 2 weeks. Depending on who you interpret the contributions, Santa Clara's outlay could be either $150 million or $550 million if the Stadium Authority's loan/bonds are included.

One thing not mentioned in either the Merc or SFGate article is yet another important item to be addressed on June 9: Negotiations among the City, 49ers, and Cedar Fair over the fate of Great America. As far as we know, the stadium deal can get done with or without the 49ers acquiring Great America. Or can it?

If Cedar Fair isn't satisfactorily placated, they're likely to whine as long as they own Great America. They're already bitching about lost parking and the football stadium threatening the theme park operator's business. It could very well be that the 49ers and the City are dealing with two different scenarios: one in which the 49ers take over Cedar Fair's lease, and one in which they don't. If the 49ers or a related party take over Great America, they'd also be responsible for buying up the theme park's rides, equipment, and intellectual property. Personally, I think it's not a bad investment, especially if some NFL branding is tightly integrated. A football or sports-oriented theme park next to a stadium? Sounds like a good recipe for multiple Super Bowls, domeless stadium notwithstanding.

Regardless of what happens with Great America, there's something fishy about allowing only 72 hours for the public to review the deal.


Anonymous said...

ML--I believe the $62M included not only relocating the substation but also building the parking garage which had already been committed to by the city for the convention center.

Anonymous said...

While there will only be 3 days for public review before the council votes on this there will be 5-10 months of public review (depending on November or March vote)before the public will have the opportunity to vote--

From my perspective this is more than ample time for the public to make an informed decision when they go to the ballot box--

Anonymous said...

A billion bucks and The Company is putting up a third? Very generous. Are the relevant local municipalities running a surplus?

Marine Layer said...

Fair enough. Still, if the deal's done they should at least show enough faith in the public to allow them more than 72 hours to review the deal prior to the Council session. The issue in situations like this is whether or not the right questions will be asked.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:29--not sure how you get that breakdown--Depending on the final details as to who is responsible for potential shortfalls in funding associated with PSL sales, naming rights, ticket tax, and taking the big leap of faith that it is the '49er's than it would be a billion dollar investment with The Company accountable for $900M--and the city accountable for approximately $100M---not including the relocation of the substation and the building of a parking garage which I understand will occur regardless.

Paul said...

Two problems with this: Now that the budget propositions failed, the state is likely to take redevelopment funds from municipalities. Like the kind Santa Clara wants to use to pay for the stadium. Also, there is no naming rights sponsor for the stadium.

The Cowboys are set to open up a new stadium in a couple months and they too, have no naming rights sponsor. Corporations are no longer ponying up big $$ for this stuff.

Paul said...

Also: PSLs. Remember what a disaster these were in Oakland? People plunked down big $$ for these and ended up sitting next to people who didn't buy them at all and got tickets the day of the game?

Why don't the 49ers and Santa Clara just travel to the Emerald City and ask the Wizard of Oz for funds?

Anonymous said...

Paul- its only a problem if the city of SC is on the line for making up revenue shortfalls--that remains to be seen--

I also believe that cities recently sued the state of California over the states raiding of redevelopment funds and the cities won the case--not sure of the specifics---but I doubt that the state wants to be the cause of keeping a $1B project from moving forward recognizing the positive impact the construction of the stadium will have on the economy-

Anonymous said...

Paul- also remember that there are other instances where PSL's have worked as planned and provided a significant funding source to building of the stadium---SF Giants used this concept as a key revenue generator in their development of AT&T--

If the '49'ers deal looked anything like what the city of Oakland did for the Raiders than I would agree with you--Santa Clara is a much better run city that has put 2 years into negotiations--not 2 months--

Paul said...

...This whole deal is all based on finger-crossing:

* Redevelopment funds that may not be available.
* League funding that may not be available.
*PSLs proven disastrous just 30 miles away.
* Ticket taxes on top of PSLs? Plus ticket prices and parking? Are 49er fans that worshipful to take multiple hits to the wallet like this?
* The apparently still-brewing conflict with Great America.

I hear the team will only fund cost overruns until 2013. Why not for the life of the project?

And as I've said before, the stadium is right in flight path of the airport. This will cause noise problems during games and could rule out the stadium as a venue for concerts.

Remember: San Jose, a much, much larger city, only spent $135 mill on an arena in use 200 days a year. Santa Clara would pay at least $90 mill for a building only used 10 days a year. And the team won't even take the city's name. So much for the stadium putting Santa Clara on the map.

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your breath on Santa Clara voters approving this money!

Anonymous said...

What terms?

The devil is in the details...

This dog won't hunt...

Hunter's Point here we be coming...

Anonymous said...

Hunter's Point? That's too funny.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Paul has the inside scope that no one else seems to have---always enjoy people who have made up their minds before the facts are presented--

I don't live in the city of SC--but the one thing they are recognized for is being fiscally prudent and well managed--2 years of negotiations shows they didn't bake this quickly--

Relative to cost overruns on construction costs until 2013---there has to be some incentive to make sure everyone is working to get this going sooner than later---

Anonymous said...

I love this blog! Everything is good news for South Bay stadiums and everything is bad news for SF/Oakland! Reminds me of Fox News during the '08 election.

Trying to get that kind of money from a small city that has previously rejected funding stadiums, in a terrible economy for a FOOTBALL stadium to house a team that won't even use your cities name?

Yet somehow Oakland's Howard Terminal site is quixotic...

Paul said...

From what I read, Santa Clara council members turned thumbs-down on a small, milion-dollar or so subsidy for a solar energy company that would have brought in highly paid high-tech jobs. Now, smiiten and star-struck, they are ready to fork over nearly $100 million to a billion-dollar sports corporation that will provide a handful of beer- and hot dog-selling jobs 10 Sundays a year.

Santa Clara voters went thumbs-down on building a stadium for the Giants about 15 years ago. I suspect this 49er folly to get the same reception.

The whole thing will become even more laughable if the 49ers come up with the money to buy Great America while claiming they need a public subsidy for the stadium.

The NFL doesn't quite know what to do with California. While places like Indianapolis give the league whatever it wants from the public treasury, California tells the NFL to get lost and build its own stadiums. Three of the league's worst stadiums - possibly THE three worst - are all in the Golden State.

Paul said...

FWIW, the best plan for a 49ers stadium depends on our beloved A's.

* Let the A's build a new stadium in San Jose.
* Take the existing coliseum, which features half a new football stadium already, and renovate the other half (cost: $350 mill?)
* House the Raiders and 49ers in it. There's already BART access and a huge parking lot.

...Much better than this $1 billion Santa Clara folly, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:20--hey--after the A's move to SJ offer Uncle Al the Howard Terminal site for his new stadium and see what he has to say--

HT is not only quixotic...its toxic...and requires about $300M in clean-up, tenant moving costs, and other infrastructure improvements prior to even begin building a ballpark...and thats assuming that you have a tenant willing to move and a Port willing to negotiate--which in the past---showed zero interest.

As Paul suggests--if SC fails at the ballot box than build a new stadium for both the '9ers and Raiders in the parking lot of the Coli----ahh--but that would take some vision from the Oakland leaders--funny how that little city named Santa Clara is so much more progressive than its bigger neighbor--Oakland---

Anonymous said...

Really Paul don't say beloved A's, when your not a real fan. If you were you would be hoping that something can happen to keep them in the city where they made history, Oakland. Screw San Jose.

Anonymous said...

Way to go 49ERS and Santa Clara. Jed is 100% right this is the by far the best site in the bay area. The San Jose A's should be looking at the Great America Amusement Park as well. I believe the A's should give Oaktown another chance but if not Oakland Santa Clara is the only site that can handle large multiple events because of its infrastructure already in place. A Santa Clara Ballpark would be at least 100 mill cheaper because Santa Clara does not need to purchase 1 acre for a MLB Ballpark.


Paul said...

...If I'm not a real fan, then neither is that A's co-owner who wrote a letter to Barbara Boxer detailing the 40 years of dismal support Oakland has given the A's. Low revenues, poor attendance, inabilty to sell out World Series games, paltry season ticket base, stuff like that. Sounds like I'm in good company.

Anonymous said...

Santa Clara may or may not be the best site for a football stadium, but it certainly pales to Diridon as a site for a baseball park. It has no access to a downtown, few entertainment options, no urban vibe or personality. It is far less transit friendly. And it's no more accessible to freeways.

Further, the Diridon site is already basically acquired. It's not clear where acres of free land in Santa Clara are supposedly coming from, when they're having difficulty working through how they're going to supply enough parking to Great America.

One thing virtually everyone on this site agrees on, Oakland and San Jose partisans alike, is that ballparks should be downtown. That you suggest Santa Clara has any advantages over downtown San Jose makes me think you have a financial interest up there.

Anonymous said...

Get real anon 12:29. You're no A's fan yourself. You're a "team with a stadium in my city limits" fan. Screw San Jose? No, screw yourself.

Jeffrey said...

I am so sick of the "real fan" crap.
I am a real fan, have been since the early 80's and I am fine with the A's playing in San Jose.
I am fine with them staying in Oakland.

I think everyone with a sense of reality agrees that Howard Terminal and Santa Clara football stadiums are long shots.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey-- agree with the real fan crap--and agree on HT--but if I was a betting man I would bet that Santa Clara will have a much better chance of passing voters muster come March of 2010---

Anonymous said...

they have to buy great america? what kind of deal is that. how the heck does san jose have all this money to build a football stadium and a baseball stadium. it's alot of bonds to issue, and aside from sports being nice and all, i dont want see san jose overspend and implode itself.

i really want to be able to get to games on public transit but most of the public transit to/from san jose seems to be commuter based.

Dan said...

Anon 1:05. It's not San Jose paying for the football stadium it's Santa Clara. Different city. And part of the reason Santa Clara has money to blow is their one of the best run cities in the state.

And San Jose wouldn't be paying for the baseball stadium, Wolff would. Unless of course public money ends up being involved in the A's stadium, then the San Jose voters would have to approve a vote on the issue.

Paul said...

I'm not sure the voters of Santa Clara will agree that the city has "money to blow" on a stadium. Apparently, the city has held up construction of a library because it would need the redevelopment funds also earmarked for the 49ers. In times like these, with school budgets being cut and teachers and others being laid off, it could be a hard sell for voters to approve even $90 for a stadium, never mind $90 million.

As far as San Jose commuting options, there is a train station with several different rail lines (Ace, CalTrain, Light Rail, Amtrak)right next to where the baseball stadium would go. The station also has buses coming in.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:26 It's the fact of moving a team with good history in Oakland. Oakland gets dumped on all the time, and taking the A's away is just another case of it. I get your an A's fan, but clearly you don't care about the tradition. If you were a Red Sox fan would you not care if they left Boston? Well to diehard Oakland A's fans that's how it is. The city they represent is just as important as the team is, to the fans. Im an Oakland A's fan. I don't wanna see any other name besides Oakland on that away jersey. Seems like your more of a new stadium fan, than an Oakland A's fan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:09, get over the "real fan" B.S.
You and the other 8,000 "real fans" can enjoy the empty Coliseum/Mt. Davis once the A's have left.

Jeffrey said...

Real fans like me:

Look at the tradition of the Athletics franchise and realize that 5 of the 9 world titles were won in Philadelphia. And are proud of those 5 anyway.

See the Coliseum as it is and pine for the Coliseum as it was.

Understand that moving to a new city in the same metropolitan area, but outside of the the current city the team plays in, is not really that big of a deal.

Root for a new stadium, be it in Oakland or San Jose, because that is what is good for the future of the organization.

gojohn10 said...


I'm an A's fan and I love their tradition. I think the 1929 PHILADELPHIA A's were the greatest team of all time.

Paul said...

re: I don't wanna see any other name besides Oakland on that away jersey.

...If the A's are unable to stay in Oakland (a very distinct possibility), which city name would you prefer on the away jersey:

* Portland
* Sacramento
* San Antonio
* Las Vegas
* San Jose

I choose San Jose.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:06 Im not going on about real fan bs im just saying how I feal on the situation. That's the beauty of freedom of speech. On another note im sure there are more than 8,000 people whos views are similar to mine. Also why do you make a joke on "real fans" at the coliseum? If your dedicated to the team you would like to be there no matter how bad the stadium.

gojohn10 said...


This board is almost entirely made up of hard core fans. Why wouldn't we want to be there regardless of the state of the venue? However, there is a difference between showing up to the park by yourself versus convincing others to come with you.

Anonymous said...

If I was in Boston and the best available site for a new stadium was say Cambridge, yes I would remain a fan. You on the other hand would start calling them carpet baggers and become a Yankee fan. What a lame question that was.

Way to gloss over the KC and Philly years. You talk about history, but you don't even begin to understand the meaning of the word. Enjoy being a Giants fan while the rest of us enjoy the beautiful new park in SJ. I can't wait for our fanbase to be rid of the likes of you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:37 for the Red Sox comparison if you knew how to read you would see at 5:09 I didn't say "wouldnt be a fan anymore" I simply said "would you not care" there is a difference. You can still care and remain a fan. Baseball is a game of tradition if you didn't notice. On another note a deal in San Jose hasn't gone through yet so all you can do is hope it does, anything can happen. If your so confident it will you should start making shirts that say "Silicon Valley A's". Idiot.

Marine Layer said...

Thanks for ruining yet another thread that isn't even about the A's or Oakland, everyone.