By Robert Haugh
The Stadium Authority Board will take action on adopting policies for reservation procedures for the so-called “Community Room” at Levi’s Stadium.
But really it looks like the 49ers are giving the City the use of the stadium’s storage basement and charging community groups a lot to use it.
The agenda item asks the board to allocate $25,000 from the Stadium Authority Discretionary Fund to subsidize expenses. This has been a hot-button issue for some time. Board member Debi Davis has been pushing for answers about using the so-called “Community Room” for over a year. It’ll be interesting to see how she and the board react.
Section 4.7.2 of the Stadium Lease says: Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) has access to use the Community Room on the field level within Levi’s Stadium. The Community Room may be reserved for Civic Events (i.e., non-profit or other civic use) subject to scheduling priorities of the Stadium for NFL and non-NFL events. There is no room rental charge to SCSA for the use of the room; however, fees may be incurred for non-profit organizations or other civic groups.
The so-called “Community Room” is approximately 3,375 square feet and has a maximum occupancy of 225. The “use barriers” include: location – not conducive for easy ingress and egress and access to the space is down a level from Gate F through the field level service area, presenting potential challenges; there are no restroom facilities within the meeting space; the space has no windows; City staff may need to be available to lock/unlock gates; and there may be occasion when a meeting is planned and the so-called “Community Room” is needed for a large scale event. Users of the so-called “Community Room” would need to be flexible regarding cancellation of reservations due to other Stadium priorities.
Operational requirements push the cost of utilizing the so-called Community Room to approximately $2,500 per meeting. The Stadium contract with the concessionaire requires that any food and beverage must be ordered through Centerplate. Yikes. That may mean $5 for water and $7.5o for popcorn per person.
Let’s see in a year if anyone uses it.
The Stadium Authority Financial Status Report for the quarter ending September 30, 2017 will be filed with an approval of additional appropriations to the 2017-18 Santa Clara Stadium Authority budget of $875,000 for:
- $100,000 for a Stadium Authority communication consultant;
- $75,000 to build-out the Stadium Authority office space at Levi’s Stadium for staff use (furniture, office cubicles, IT costs and installation);
- $700,000 for ongoing legal services.
The funds will come from the Stadium Authority’s current year operating revenues and will reduce the amount of anticipated excess cash that would otherwise go towards outstanding debt.
Of note, during the current reporting period there were a total of 210,157 tickets sold for the seven ticketed non-NFL events that were held, resulting in $841,000 in non-NFL event ticket surcharge revenue. This is a decrease in ticket surcharge revenue of $1.2 million or 59.5 percent over the same period in the prior year. The primary reason for the large decrease is due to the total number of non-NFL events dropping from 14 for the first six months of the prior fiscal year to seven in the current reporting period.