49ers Break Another Commitment, Won’t Allow Use of Stadium Community Room

By Robert Haugh

There they go again.

The 49ers promised Santa Clara the use of a community room at the stadium during the 2010 campaign. After much delay, in 2017, they tried to give the community a basement “dungeon” and call it a community room. And they wanted to charge community groups $2,500 a pop to use it!

But the Council pushed back on the 49ers. They identified the storage room near the Bourbon Steak & Pub.  49ers VP Jim Mercurio at a City Council meeting said the space near the restaurant is anticipated for future use, though it can be explored as an option for a community meeting space and that the 49ers “want to make this work out.”

Now, the team is saying “screw you,” to the Mission City. We learned that at the end of Tuesday night’s council meeting.  City Manager Deanna Santana gave a report where she mentioned the letter from 49ers general counsel Hannah Gordon.


We don’t know how good an attorney Gordon is. And we don’t know if she cares about the list of broken commitments and political blunders the team has made over the years.

We don’t know if she’s even read the lease agreement:

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.

Look for this to be another big showdown between the City and the team next year. It’ll be interesting to see what the City finds out about the restaurant, too. We reported in February that the team is a partner in the Bourbon Steak & Pub.

Since then we’ve been asking Assistant City Manager Ruth Shikada for the lease. She’s cozy with the 49ers and even she’s not been able to get it. Now, the City Council has officially requested it. This could be an interesting story.

We predict that in 2019 the City will win this battle with the 49ers just like we won the $180 million rent re-set battle.

We also predict that in 2019 the 49ers will continue to break commitments and make political blunders.







  1. The community room has been a joke! It’s cost prohibitive for a non profit or any other community group to pay what they are asking. They already converted the room to their own use “classroom” and failed to replace it. Over the past five years manco/49ers has demonstrated poor management and judgement in running the stadium. They continue to book losining events year after year and submit the loses to the stadium authority. They still continue to use a large part of the main parking lot for storage while losing park revenue for the city, they are so call renting prime space to Mina steakhouse (with no contract). And after five years still we don’t have a full accounting to the stadium authority. The list goes on, they are nothing but corporate bullies. The lack of honesty and transparency does not exist with them and we are partners. It’s time to look at a new magament for the operation and non events. The city needs to go over the contract and note all violations to Cancel the contract agreement. We need to cut our loses and work with a partner we can TRUST.

  2. @Suds, Regarding non profits, your suggestion makes plenty of sense – though I wonder, has anyone asked non profits what they want or need? However. The original idea was for a “community center,” not for a “non profit center.” As a member of the public who has looked for affordable medium to largeish indoor space for meetings/celebrations, I assure you that this is hard to impossible to find. Square footage in the Bay Area is so valuable that extended family or other large citizen gatherings are forced either to the outside (when there is no rain or smoke pollution of course) or into expensive venues such a hotel. Instead of making local residents dislike the 49ers even more than they already do, here is an opportunity for the team to garner good will by offering space for a rent less onerous than the competition.

  3. You noted-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.

    Bourbon Steak & Pub is not field level. I think field level is the “dungeon” you and the city has been complaining about.

    Based on your above statement and the Section noted, my money is on Hannah Gordan because it’s just ONE MORE THING the City do when negotiating Measure J.

  4. While I agree that the 49ers have some commitment to provide a community meeting space, it makes no sense to me, at this point, to have the meeting space at the Stadium. Because of security reasons (blame Homeland Security) we have to close the San Tomas Aquino bike trail every time there is a major event at the Stadium. It will be very expensive to ensure that bad actors won’t try to use the Community Room for nefarious purposes. The estimated cost to refurbish the intended room for community uses is $800,000. The City can insist that the 49ers spend (waste) all this money but I think it will be very difficult for non-profits to get access to the room.

    Instead I propose that the 49ers pay the room rental costs for community rooms at the parks, libraries, convention center and senior center for legitimate non-profits. In addition, I propose that they pay for electronic locks and security cameras at those rooms so that it will be much easier for groups to get access to rooms that dispersed around the city and therefore more convenient.

  5. You can’t really blame the 49ers for this. They misunderstood and thought Anthony Becker won the election.

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