By Burt Field
Yesterday, I read Santa Clara News Online and thought just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, they’re getting worse. Funny how that happens when a NFL team owns a City Council.
Welcome to Santa Clara or as some of us say sadly “Yorkville.”
The 49ers seem hellbent on breaking every agreement that they’ve made to Santa Clarans. And the 49er Five are happy to let them get away with it.
The parking revenue settlement is the latest example. It was a three-year deal, the first two went as planned. The 49ers used our golf course. They charged their fans to park their cars. The team made money and the City made money.
So what changed in the 3rd year? The 49ers decided to stiff Santa Clara for over $700,000. Maybe it had something to do with the City beating the team when they tried to unilaterally lower their own rent. After that, the 49ers held back stadium rental payments, parking revenue, and concert revenue. Just a coincidence?
Now after all that, the 49er Five give them a gift of public funds.
This was a winnable case if I ever saw one. Our former City Attorney and other local attorneys said the same thing. A jury trial was set for the end of this month when the facts would be presented clearly. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the 49er Five fired Brian Doyle without cause.
The worst thing is that the pro-49er Councilmembers are not honest about their plans or intelligent with their arguments. Suds Jain said “he was pleased it was behind us.” That quote shows Jain is more loyal to Jed York who spent $3 million to get him and two others elected to the City Council in 2020 than he is to Santa Clara.
Jain’s misguided loyalty also shows that money talks and it corrupts. Jain was quoted in a Mercury News article written by Grace Hase who didn’t even report a basic fact in her story. After you add up the attorneys’ fees, the City is left with zero parking revenue even though the 49ers agreed to pay us. Hase’s story makes it sound like the settlement is a positive thing.
But we’re used to bias reporting from the Mercury News. The 49ers spend a lot of money on advertising in that paper. The reporters and editors can’t afford to offend the team. The Mercury News is a lot like our City Council.
Editor’s Note: Burt Field is co-founder of Stand Up for Santa Clara, a grass-roots watchdog organization born out of the fight to save the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park in 2015.