By Robert Haugh
At last Tuesday’s council meeting, we learned that the 49ers will have to pay for all costs and eat an estimated $12 million loss of next January’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Santa Clara will have to pay nothing. This is a first for a host city.
This story was first reported by The San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier and Ross 8 days ago. Kudos to them.
That’s bad news for the team. But good news for Santa Clara.
For the last couple years, the City has been tough on the 49ers.
- They forced the team to go through a Harvey Rose Measure J Stadium Audit last year.
- They also went to court to force the 49ers to produce documents that they’re suppose to provide according to the stadium agreements.
- They forced the team to follow the law — the weekday stadium curfew.
Being tough is paying off. The City won’t be paying for any game expenses. Santa Clara will make money from parking revenue and “economic activity” like people staying in hotels and eating at local restaurants.
This is another great “first” for the Mission City. No one can name a city who has forced a team or host committee to eat all the costs. It was interesting to hear 49ers team executive and stadium manager Jim Mercurio say that. During questioning by Mayor Lisa Gillmor, he said that cities usually have a fund that pays for major game expenses. You can watch it here at the 2:30:35 mark.
Mercurio said some other interesting things.
During questioning by Councilwoman Debi Davis, Mercurio said that Santa Clara would have “no debt” associated with the game. But when Davis asked about San Jose, Mercurio dodged the question. You can watch it at the 2:13:30 mark.
Then Davis asked Mercurio who was on the Host Committee for the big game that’s just eight months away. Mercurio said he didn’t know. Really? He said that Ronnie Lott and Condoleeza Rice were “advisors” to the Host Committee. You can watch his uncomfortable answer at the 2:14:49 mark.
The Stadium Authority will finalize agreements with the team for the game to protect the City on May 29. Maybe Mercurio will be able to tell us more about the Host Committee by then and how much of the bill that San Jose will have to pay.