By Robert Haugh
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara City Council acting as the Stadium Authority (SA) approved the 49ers selling end zone seat tickets for the upcoming season.
But there was a debate about revenue and whether or not the SA got a good deal.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor argued that the 49ers are charging below fair market value for the end zone seats’ Seat Builders Licenses (SBLs). That’s the fee individuals pay just for the right to purchase tickets.
SBLs go to pay down stadium debt. So that’s good for the Stadium Authority and Santa Clara.
But according to City staff, the SBL price for end zone seats will be lower than the SBL charge for surrounding seats.
Instead, the 49ers will charge a high ticket price. The team keeps the revenue from the ticket price, minus a 10 percent fee that goes to Stadium Authority that’s capped as a portion of the “NFL base price.”
Based on previous staff reports, Gillmor said that the SA will make approximately $1.6 million over 30 years. The team will make an estimated $24-32 million. Wow.
The 49er Five made numerous comments about how getting something was better than nothing.
In previous years, former City Manager Deanna Santana attempted to get the team to increase SBL revenue arguing it would be good for the SA and the City.
She felt she had leverage because the team built the end zone seats in 2018 without getting SA approval or City permits. That was a big screwup.
But when the 49er Five took over in December 2020, Santana lost her ability to negotiate on behalf of the city.
Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy, and Kevin Park meet with the 49ers weekly at times.
On Tuesday night, Hardy and Chahal were accused by former City Attorney Brian Doyle of receiving gifts from the 49ers and not reporting them.
They voted in favor of the 49er deal Tuesday night, 5-2. Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe voted against it.
Current City Manager Rajeev Batra negotiated the current deal and had difficulty answering a lot of questions.
You can watch Batra’s presentation here. It’s about 10 minutes. The SA discussion and debate is about 45 minutes.