By Robert Haugh
At the request of Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe, the Santa Clara City Council will hold a special meeting to review the safety of Levi’s Stadium.
On Sunday, July 2, there was a serious stabbing at a CONCACAF soccer match between Mexico and Qatar. The assailant allegedly brought a large knife into Levi’s Stadium raising questions about security.
Two days later, Gillmor and Watanabe authored a request for the Council to agendize a special meeting. In their request, they highlighted some serious problems. Here’s the list from their memo:
- Fan violence, both inside and outside the stadium.
- Lack of neighborhood protection, including parking, noise, another unsavory behavior, leftover garbage, and nonexistent security.
- Illegal vendors outside the stadium, on public streets, and in the residential neighborhoods.
- Illegal activities, such as alcohol and other sales, disposing of garbage many times in front of Stadium security.
- Inoperative magnetometers at entrance to Stadium that resulted in Stadium security using a hand, won the screen ticket holders or ticket purchasers going to the box office.
Wow. If the magnetometers weren’t working, that might explain how the alleged assailant got a knife into the stadium.
In response to Gillmor and Watanabe’s concerns, City Staff is recommending an independent review of stadium security.
Police Chief Pat Nikolai spoke in support of Gillmor and Watanabe’s proposal.
He also supported an independent review.
“It’s going to show that the police department has a robust presence at the stadium and that we adhere to best practices” said Nikolai.
“I was very excited to hear the 49er representative on the call earlier because I believe they will probably be some recommendations for improvements for our safety partners (the 49ers).
“And I hope that those improvements can be implemented quickly and regardless of cost. The bottom line is that safety is the priority, not profits.”
The 49ers appear concerned about Levi’s Stadium’s reputation for safety especially with their new stadium manager Francine Melendez Hughes who has a poor safety record.
Even the 49er Five seemed concerned. They voted for the Gillmor and Watanabe proposal and it passed unanimously.
The meeting and review will like happen in September after the Council returns from its summer recess.
Editor’s Note: More information from the Council meeting will be reported later this week.