By Robert Haugh
Next week’s Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) meeting has a routine marketing report from the 49ers stadium management company (ManCo) on the agenda.
ManCo usually doesn’t share much. In previous years, Stadium Authority members seemed like they were pulling teeth to get any decent info from the team.
In fact, the Stadium Authority still doesn’t know how much the City actually makes on concerts. ManCo refuses to share that info even though it’s how they determine how much money Santa Clara is supposed to get.
49ers executives have been falsely claiming for a couple years now that the curfew has resulted in the decline of revenue to the City.
But the curfew hasn’t changed since the team agreed to it when the stadium first opened. And there were no complaints.
Around 2017, that changed. According to our sources in the music industry, the 49ers negotiated “revenue-sharing arrangements” with certain music promoters.
The negotiations were led by 49ers executive Al Guido. That’s when they decided that getting rid of the curfew would be a good thing. And they decided to call the existing curfew a “music ban” to make it look like it was the City’s fault. Guido started calling it a “music ban” publicly.
But wait. There’s an interesting paragraph in ManCo’s marketing report that’s on the SCSA meeting agenda Tuesday.
“The Justin Bieber CHANGES Tour, originally scheduled to take place on May 22, 2020, was announced in January 2020. The Santa Clara stop was the tour’s top selling show of the entire tour, on pace to record a six-digit profit for the SCSA. Due to COVID concerns and local health guidelines however, event promoter AEG opted to postpone the event before eventually cancelling all stadium shows and refunding ticket sales in July. Artist management has reengineered the CHANGES Tour into an arena-only show in 2021, removing the possibility of the tour returning to Levi’s Stadium.”
That means the top selling show on the Justin Bieber tour was NOT negatively affected by the existing curfew. The show was on a Friday, so it could play an hour later than weekdays.
But the team still wants to get rid of the curfew. Here’s another paragraph in the marketing report:
“Curfew policy – Approaching potentially jam packed ‘22-’23 tour seasons in which artists and promoters are looking to capture revenue lost in ‘20-’21, flexibility and cooperation is essential to capturing as many profitable events as possible. We will work to review the curfew policies with the City of Santa Clara and associated partners in order to align on an event calendar that is set up to host new, attractive events for the community. While there are several factors and aspects to the city curfew and associated policies, it will be critical to collaboratively develop a flexible event calendar that is attractive to the events and partners our collective community wants to bring to Santa Clara. The results of these efforts will be most clearly manifested in how many events are contracted and executed, along with lost or missed opportunities based on our policies and reputation in the entertainment industry.
We’ve talked to multiple sources, including those close to the 49ers political operation on this issue. They say the 49ers are counting on the candidates they backed with $3 million to vote to change the curfew. That would be Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Suds Jain and Kevin Park.
Becker, Jain and Park have run unsuccessfully multiple times for city elections before the 49ers independent expenditure made them victorious.
We’ll be writing more about this topic this year for sure.