49ers Admit College Football Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium Will Cost $12 Million and Make No Profit to Share with Santa Clara

By Robert Haugh

In January 2019, Santa Clara will host the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

But apparently the 49ers who made the bid for the game never told the City that it will cost at least $12 million to put on the event — and there will be no profits to share. Oops. The San Francisco Chronicle broke the story on Sunday.

The City and the 49ers are suppose to share all non-NFL event profits. The team and their supporters made a big deal about this when they tried to lift the weekday stadium curfew for concerts.

But the 49ers aren’t sharing information with the City about the big college game. We’ve heard this story before.

Santa Clara is still engaged in a lawsuit to try and get documents that the 49ers are legally obligated to give the city. The Harvey Rose Measure J Stadium Audit reported on the lengthy list last year. Maybe the Harvey Rose team should audit the college expenses, too.

Maybe there’s some good new here. Because the 49ers never gave Santa Clara information, the city is not obligated to spend tax dollars on the game. Last year, the championship game was in Atlanta. According the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the City of Atlanta and the Host Committee agreed to:

  • Reimburse the College Football Playoff organization for sales taxes on tickets ($3 million).
  • Provide hotel rooms and “mementos” for the participating teams.
  • Decorate the city with at least 750 street banners.

Atlanta had a budget of $12.5 million and contributed money from its hotel-motel tax. With no prior agreement, don’t look for that to happen in Santa Clara.

Maybe after this experience, the City will conclude that the 49ers are not managing the stadium the way they’re suppose to — or at least according to the voter-approved Measure J and to Santa Clara’s benefit.

Maybe this will revive talks from a year ago at City Hall about changing stadium management.

The 49ers have admitted that the January 2019 college football national championship game at Levi’s Stadium will not generate any profits to the City of Santa Clara.







  1. As a former member of Santa Clara Plays Fair, I’m happy that the monumental fraud of the 49ers is being exposed. Sadly, fooling the voters of Santa Clara into approving Measure J, will continue to cost the City. And, it will probably get worse.

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