Stadium Authority Preview – Future Audit Items and the so-called Community Room

By Robert Haugh

Tomorrow’s Santa Clara Stadium Authority meeting sees familiar items on the agenda.


At the November 27 ad-hoc stadium audit committee meeting, City staff presented a status of the Harvey M. Rose Associates‘ Measure J Compliance Audit recommendations.

The proposed work plan focuses on three areas:

  • Budget Development (ETA, March 2018)
  • Marketing Plan (ETA, February/March 2018)
  • Additional Due Diligence-Audit Follow-up Work (ETA, July 2018).

The committee requested additional information on certain items that staff designated as complete. Staff will provide this information at the January ad-hoc stadium audit committee meeting.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) for an independent auditor to perform the Internal Auditor function for the Stadium Authority will be issued.

The So-Called Community Room

The Board will vote on approving $25,000 from the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) discretionary fund to subsidize costs associated with the use of the so-called Community Room and to provide financial assistance as necessary for the procurement of insurance; and approval of a six-month pilot program for the Levi’s Stadium Meeting Room Reservation Policy and Procedure to allow Santa Clara based civic groups and non-profit organizations use of the so-called Community Room at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers Foundation has offered $25,000 in grants also (yes, a billion dollar organization is offering a whopping $25,000) though organizations must meet that organization’s requirements to be eligible.

According to the staff report, there was no area labeled “community room” in the stadium development plans. The current “community room” is labeled as “future development/storage.”


The first time a so-called Community Room was included in material was in the form of stadium lease presented in March 2012. The first diagram indicating stadium space planned/designated as a so-called  Community Room was in material provided to the SCSA Board on its March 15, 2012 agenda.

Costs (security, janitorial, and guest services) for using the so-called Community Room is around $2,500 per meeting. Stadium agreements with labor groups typically require a minimum of four hours of staffing with possible premium rates for services outside of regular hours of operation (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The costs:

  • Guest Services: $35.00/hour – four hours minimum
  • Security: $32.50/hour – four hours minimum
  • Engineering Services (if required): $125/hour – four hours minimum
  • Janitorial: $22.56/hour – four hours minimum

We don’t know any group that would spend that amount of money for a meeting. This makes us wonder. If a community room is never used by the community, is it a community room?



  1. In June of 2009, CS&L or Convention Sports and Leisure, surveyed community and commerce groups to try and yardstick the interest in a so-called community meeting room in a $1.2B stadium – and they came up total goose eggs.

    In one of the most embarrassing displays I’ve seen before our council, CS&L was forced to admit that TWO-THIRDS of the groups surveyed voted “NO” on holding meetings at the stadium, or flat-out didn’t care. They already understood that holding a single meeting which would have cost them thousands of dollars would probably not be in their best interests.

    That didn’t stop then-Councilmember Dominic Caserta from trying to twist the words of the CS&L presenter in a desperate attempt to manufacture consent for a proposal that was already DOA.

    Someone should have told again-Councilmember Caserta that the question was asked and answered over eight years ago.

    Robert’s right: We don’t need to spend $25K to answer the question again.

    Bear in mind also that the 49ers have virtually full control who gets meeting privileges in their stadium – rental privilege consent won’t stop at the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. No one with a political message that the team’s front office doesn’t want us to hear will be doing any messaging at Levi’s stadium.

    I’m guessing that shuts out the Soccer Park directors, physician symposiums on traumatic brain injuries and Raiders fans.

  2. I wonder that we even need another Community Room, beyond Library(s) and City Hall rooms.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the cost was greater than $2,500/event. Since we own the Convention Center (don’t we?), too, why don’t we just do Community group events over there if we need more rooms? More likely that staffing, etc. is already going on, or calendar can be coordinated. More accessible. They already have the management experience, billing, catering, etc. capabilities & relationships. Until we resolve issues with Manco why keep throwing gas on the fire. This all seems to be a fight for the sake of a fight, and to some extent we’re fighting with ourselves. Even the $25k study seems like a waste of money.

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