By Robert Haugh
The San Francisco Chronicle published a story last week that was a bombshell.
Reporters Ron Kroichick and Lance Williams have been trying to get information on what the City or others are responsible for when the 2026 FIFA World Cup games are played in Santa Clara.
But they’ve been blocked by City Staff.
According to the Chronicle, City Manager Jovan Grogan “who was hired in May with the backing of the 49ers-friendly majority City Council” will not give information to the newspaper or the City Council.
Instead, he and City Attorney Glen Googins, who was also hired by the 49er Five, are giving the Council heavily redacted documents.
According to the Chronicle, “the numerous redactions include key information such as the stadium rental fee that FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, and the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to pay the 49ers.”
Mayor Lisa Gillmor told the Chronicle: “Much of the substantive info is blacked out or missing, so it was a very weak effort to show transparency because there’s so much missing from that document,” Gillmor said in a Chronicle interview. “What troubles me is they even blacked out the signature. There are also exhibits that have not been provided.”
The Chronicle got information easily from other cities who posted their documents online. Seattle expects to spend $10 million. Los Angeles projects spending $100 million. Vancouver has budgeted $100 million.
This is really good reporting. We can see why the Chronicle has won an award for it’s coverage of what’s happening in the Mission City.
It’s too bad their stories are behind a paywall. But they are clearly the “paper of record” for how the 49ers are managing Levi’s Stadium and taking over Santa Clara politically.