Who Manages the Stadium and Who Pays the VTA Bills?
By Robert Haugh
We have a lot of respect for Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill. But we couldn’t really understand her memo to the council about the U2 event Wednesday night.
A couple sentences really jumped out. First, there’s this one:
In pre-concert planning meetings, Management Company acknowledged that the U2 concert would not end before the 10:00 pm weeknight curfew per the conditions of approval of the Stadium.
As we reported in January, the council voted 4-3 to maintain the weekday curfew at 10 p.m. for this event. O’Neill voted with the majority. Afterall, it’s a school night. So if we read this correctly, the 49ers are ignoring the curfew and the vote, and City staff knew about it. If the City manager, police chief, and councilmembers knew about it, too, does that mean that no one was willing to stand up to the team? Northside residents won’t be happy.
Then, there’s this sentence:
The Stadium Authority needs to reimburse VTA and Caltrain for the expense of having trains run late at night.
This is contrary to current practice as we understand it. In fact, the VTA tried to hand the bill to the city once before for 49er events, but failed. That was in May, 2015, almost exactly two years ago. The mayor at the time, Jamie Matthews stood up to them. Here’s how the Bay Area News Group reported it:
The VTA request caught Santa Clara by surprise. Mayor Jamie Matthews said former General Manager Michael Burns told him the extra riders would likely cover the bulk of added costs of getting them to Levi’s Stadium. An average 8,000 riders have taken transit to each event, and 16,000 rode to the outdoor hockey game between the Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.
“I was a little surprised when this issue came up,” Matthews said. “We’re always willing to listen, but we can’t contribute. If VTA cannot maintain its existing service, we may need to have the private sector step in.”
So, we don’t quite understand why the council is willing to let the concert violate the curfew and plan for weeks to violate the curfew. Does this mean the curfew doesn’t matter for this event, or for other ones in the future?
And we don’t understand why the City or the Stadium Authority would pay for VTA services now, when they never have before. Will this set a precedent for all other events?
RIP Jerry Marsalli
This weekend, former councilman Jerry Marsalli passed away. We offer our condolences to the Marsalli family. Jerry was elected to Santa Clara City Council in 2012 and served one term. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Larry Marsalli, who served as both councilman and mayor. Jerry was a former Santa Clara police officer who was known for his friendly personality, optimistic outlook on life and community involvement. He’ll be missed at city hall and in our community. RIP, Jerry.