Stadium Authority Preview – Fights at Mexico vs. Iceland Soccer Game Requires Major Law Enforcement Response

By Robert Haugh

Soccer Event Police Issues?

According to several media reports, additional police assistance was requested to deal with fights and incidents at the Mexico vs. Iceland soccer game.  There were several alcohol-related fights at the event attended by approximately 70,000. According to reports, a police chopper was circling, several tactical and SWAT officers were called in, and there may have been a call for assistance from an officer in trouble. One fan was almost thrown from an upper tier.

An item added to the agenda over the weekend will offer the City’s verbal response to incidents that took place during the Mexico vs. Iceland soccer game held at Levi’s Stadium on Friday, March 23.

Santa Clara Police Chief Mike Sellers has been criticized by many in the past for allowing alcohol sales to last until late in NFL games. Will he address this issue on Tuesday?  Will changes be made? How much costs and public nuisance is too much compared to the benefits of hosting soccer? According to past media reports, soccer events seem to draw the most police presence and arrests.

Soccer Security
According to media reports, additional police assistance was requested to deal with fights and incidents at the Mexico vs. Iceland soccer game.

Stadium Authority Budget

The Board will adopt the Santa Clara Stadium Authority fiscal year 2018-19 budget, approve the stadium operation and maintenance plan, and approve reducing the total outstanding debt by $13.5 million. There are a lot of capital expenditure items, including $1 million in public safety capital costs.

We’re seeing a little more transparency.  For example, this line was a positive sign:

This is the first year that the budget reflects the gross Non-NFL event expenses of $56.5 million. In the past this expense was shown as part of the net Non-NFL revenue.

We still don’t know what all the money goes for. And we still don’t know how much each non-NFL event generates for the city. Maybe the city has to win its lawsuit to get the documents that the 49ers are withholding to find out that info. But we’re inching a little closer.

There are some interesting components to this budget, such as a drastic increase in public safety costs, and over $630,000 for the building-out of the community room, part of over $6.2 million for stadium improvements. Thankfully, it’ll be a real meeting room now, not the not-so-community room “dungeon” that the 49ers proposed.

The budget also implemented many policy changes set in place in the last several years, many which introduced through suggestions from the Harvey Rose Measure J compliance audit.

Other Items

  • The Board will give Executive Director Deanna Santana authority to complete the phase-out of the current concessionaire at Levi’s Stadium.
  • There is also a special City Council meeting prior to the Stadium Authority Board meeting for interviews and to fill a position to the Civil Service Commission.



  1. Robert, you probably know this, but people I’ve talked to involved in Stadium security say that Wrestlemania 31 had the least problems of any event so far. Probably also the best net income. (I’d love to see those documents.). We should try to get another Wrestlemania! I need to find a place showing the pay-per-view Wrestlemania 34 (in New Orleans on April 8th). The Greatful Dead concerts were also fairly peaceful and high revenues, though some individual problems with now-recreational drugs and alcohol (surprise).

  2. Some of these fans were just being stupid ass’s throwing food on us, a private guard that works for the stadium ,dont kmow if i will ever work a soccer game again,we were out numbered by far.

  3. For just once Robert. Get your facts right and stop attempting to blame Chief Sellers for everything! Sheesh, your getting worse than the Weekly.

    The Chief doesn’t shut off alcohol sales … the Stadium Manager does … after all do,you think they are going to cut off money going to the 49ers? Duh … I think they need to stop even having these soccer fights, oh they call them games, at the stadium. Every single one causes huge problems for everyone and the 49ers still will not prove that Santa Clara actually makes $800k on any event … even though they throw that number around to try to get their way.

    Where is Santa Clara’s stadium manager to take care of all this mess for Santa Clara … or did that money get squandered on the City Manager and her cronies? Santa Clara needs to Manager their own asset better and finally be more fiscally responsible. Guess City Council and mayor don’t get it either … thankfully election is coming up and the people do have the power to correct that finally.

  4. I own property near the stadium. All night, people were urinating on my building. It smells like a toilet and beer cans are all over the place. This isn’t unique to the soccer games but this event was the worse.

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