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.