49ers Snub City of Santa Clara in Levi’s Stadium Press Conference on Tuesday

By Robert Haugh

The City of Santa Clara owns Levi’s Stadium. But for some reason the 49ers think they do.

That was made clear again on Tuesday when the team announced that the stadium will become a COVID-19 mass vaccination site.

49ers executive Al Guido led the press conference. Coincidentally, at Tuesday night’s Council meeting, City Attorney Brian Doyle was laying out a case how Guido had violated state conflict of interest laws and engaged in self-dealing with the Red Box Bowl at Levi’s Stadium.

At the Tuesday press conference, County Supervisors Susan Ellenberg and Cindy Chavez spoke. So did Governor Gavin Newsom and Assemblymember Ash Kalra.

Here’s what’s interesting. No one from the Santa Clara City Council was invited. That’s right. No one.

Yesterday, we emailed the Mayor and all Councilmembers to confirm this. Everyone responded except Vice Mayor Raj Chahal and Councilmember Kevin Park. (Chahal meets with the 49ers monthly).

Anthony Becker wrote: “No I was not invited, in fact I texted then spoke to City Manager Deanna Santana about my concern why no one like mayor or council was not invited.”

Kathy Watanabe wrote: “I watched a replay of the press conference later on. What was disappointing was no one mentioned the City of Santa Clara, which is the host city for this mass vaccination site.”

According to our County sources, County staff suggested the list of speakers be expanded. But Guido vetoed the suggestion because of time constraints. That’s interesting because it was a long press conference, over 48 minutes long.

Our sources tell us that even though they knew the team wasn’t good at local politics they had to follow their lead.

Last week, the NFL announced that all stadiums would become mass COVID-19 vaccination sites. Levi’s Stadium will be one of 30.

Photo courtesy of Twitter


  1. Bill, I am surprised at your response. I thought you were okay with the niners buying the city council.

    • Howard, my stance on the corrosive effects of the 49ers on our city is pretty well-known by now.

      You’ll probably do better sticking to the points in Robert’s article rather than trying to paint me with that broad brush you’re so good at using – doesn’t look like that’s working for you.

    • Dear Bill,

      Wow again. You say 1.) I am painting with a broad brush and 2.) That it’s not working for me? I’ll leave it to you explain what that means.

      But you did say you were okay with jed york buying the election, right? I don’t claim he bought the candidates, time will tell. And probably soon.

      On Oct 4 you described jed york’s dumping $3,000,000 into a local election as a ‘nothingburger’. I didn’t agree then and don’t agree now.

      Flailing against the 49ers but strongly supporting their paid for candidacy is counterproductive.

      Just pointing that out.

    • “But you did say you were okay with jed york buying the election, right? ”

      You’ll have to offer some proof that I said any such thing. If you’ll recall, my exact words were that the contributions to the the two CMs campaigns were “nothing burgers.” That is, they were not consequential to the question being addressed at that time: Whether or not two candidates with far better records of service to this city than their opponents deserved seats on our city council. I have serious differences of opinion with both of them, but they’re still better than the two alternatives we were offered last November.

      For purposes of this article, Howard, try sticking to what Robert actually wrote.

      As for painting with the broad brush, you know pretty much what I meant. Sweeping generalizations are OK when you’re in “labelmaker” mode – but they don’t make your case any stronger here than they did in the previous comment threads.

    • Dear Bill,
      Yes, you would like to narrow the discussion to an area you are more comfortable with. But what I get from the article is the continued arrogance of the 49ers and them treating the stadium as theirs and us their serfs.
      Your exact words were
      ‘And I’ve also seen enough double-dealing and self-dealing by the 49ers’ front office to wonder if the “endorsement” of Suds by the team isn’t just a nothingburger.” And yet you endorsed and supported their candidate.
      Your euphemism of “endorsement” doesn’t change the fact that if jed york had not spent $3,000,000.00 on the election the chances of Suds winning were small. And when you call that a nothingburger it says you don’t really have a problem with it.
      The fact that jed york bought the election is, IMHO, directly related to the arrogance demonstrated in the story. And for you to get on your high horse against the 49ers, after not being bothered about them buying the election, rings rather hollow to me. Not that I expect you to care what I think.

    • I’m quite comfortable with any breadth to which you wish to take this. I simply proposed that you stick to the article at hand, rather than pushing an agenda unrelated to it.

      When I challenge you on that agenda – and when I put your more extravagant claims back into context – you claim that I’m somehow ‘narrowing’ the discussion.

      But at the end of the day, it sounds like we agree on the points I raised this morning at 8:43 am.

      I’m not seeing the problem, frankly.

    • Dear Bill,
      Yes we agree the 49ers are crooks and trying to run our stadium by running our city. It is reprehensible and they should have been stopped.
      No telling where this will take us,
      I sincerely hope our council members will take a stand in favor of our city.
      We definitely have that in common.

  2. Double wow, as you say. It is obvious the niners are not concerned at all about what the council thinks.
    1. Will the niner side of the council wake up and see the niners don’t give a crap about the city, considering it bought and paid for. For you niner supporter council members time to have a spine, especially your Raj, and stand up for those that elected you. Some of you have aspirations for higher office so you need to pay attention to the voters.
    2.Who is paying for all the virus vaccination process? No way should the city pay one cent of this whole circus. We were apparently not asked about it and the niners/NFL took all the credit, so just be sure we don’t get stuck with the bill, again.

  3. _
    The Santa Clara Stadium Authority will be the one paying the bills for setup, stadium maintenance and takedown for this obvious act of San Francisco 49ers’ self-aggrandizement. Not Jed York and not the County of Santa Clara.

    Who do these Guidos think they are?

    They’ve also turned Levi’s – owned by the Stadium Authority – into a super-spreader event at the same time they’re playing The Magnificent Seven with the rest of us – and at the same time that the more-contagious South African strain B.1.351 has now been discovered spreading in our county. I’m betting that the conditions of the lease to the team don’t mention medical bazaars like this one explicitly – but the liability for any adverse events are down to the Stadium Authority alone. The team has no downside for the fluffy press and PR that they’re getting from this extravaganza.

    No, thank you. I’ll get vaccinated elsewhere. Plenty of hospitals in the area, and they are highly likely to be obeying the vaccine’s storage and handling precautions better than overworked county employees with queues of hundreds waiting their turn.

    Everybody at Levi’s six feet apart and masked-up? Yeah, sure.

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