A Warning From Santa Clara Based on the 49ers Corporate Welfare Deal #wilfare

A commenter from Santa Clara named Tom left a comment that I’ve decided to promote as a post regarding how the NFL shoved a new 49ers stadium down his communities throat:

To the good people of Minnesota. Please educate yourselves on what has transpired in Santa Clara with the 49ers stadium, so that you can be forewarned about how you could be deceived by a Vikings stadium campaign. Here in Santa Clara,a city of 117,000 people (NOT a wealthy community by any means), the 49ers worked with our pro-stadium council members and former council members to give us a ballot measure which read like an advertisement for the stadium and did not disclose costs. There was no objectivity in the ballot language, and in California there is no legal requirement for city-wide ballot measures to disclose costs.

We were given a ballot measure which did not disclose any loans for stadium construction. The 49ers spent almost $5 Million in a saturation campaign to convince people to vote yes. People were told in the campaign mailers/ads and by our elected officials that the “49ers/NFL/and stadium revenues will pay for 92% of the stadium construction costs.” The voices of anyone who opposed a public subsidy or who wanted the loan costs disclosed on the ballot were drown out by the 49ers money. The opposition funded by ordinary citizens in Santa Clara had only $20,000 to spend on the campaign – far less than the 49ers spent on yardsigns.

18 months after people voted yes we saw the contract – our city agency the Stadium Authority would take on $850 million in loans for stadium construction. That amount is now up to $950 million in loans. The 49ers are putting in no upfront money of their own. The NFL will loan the 49ers $200 million. Almost the entire bill for stadium construction is debt financed.

The $950 million comes due at the end of construction. Santa Clarans are not being told how the loans will be paid off or how the long term financing will be paid off.

People here collected enough signatures to demand a vote on the loans. Our city council sued the citizens of Santa Clara, and the 49ers stadium company joined in (suing the citizens plus suing the Stadium Authority) to deny us the right to vote. A judge agreed that he would not allow us to vote on the loans, stating that the loans are just an administrative, not a legislative act. So elected officials played a bait and switch to get people to vote yes on a stadium, and the people here now don’t get to vote on the actual deal.

Minnesotans, don’t let this happen to you! Visit the santaclaraplaysfair dot org website to read the timeline of how Santa Clarans were deceived by our elected officials.

Thanks for sharing, Tom.

4 thoughts on “A Warning From Santa Clara Based on the 49ers Corporate Welfare Deal #wilfare”

  1. I knew this stadium was a bad deal, but as each detail emerges it exceeds my worst nightmares. And as Rick was fond of reminding us…THIS IS THE NFL MODEL.

    But this is not the NFL we grew up with, this is the vampire squid NFL, looking to suck every possible dollar out of gullible yet loyal fans and communities. This is the face of greed.

    This must stop here, and hopefully in Santa Clara CA and Atlanta GA and all the other communities being targeted for extraction.

    This is an NFL to be pround to lose from your community.

  2. Tom is right! And communities beware…The York Ownership of the SF 49ers have shown the way for other NFL Ownerships to rip-off Large, Medium, and Small communities. The Foundation of Measure J in Santa Clara was built on Lies, Deceit, Fraud, and Collusion. And the Elected Officials of Santa Clara, who were supposed to look out for their taxpayers joined forces with the Ownership of the 49ers, and sold their taxpayers OUT!

    Citizens need to lobby their State Representatives to stop this blatant “Rip-Off” in these economical stressful times. The cost of such a Pricey item, (an NFL Stadium) “should” be disclosed at the time of the Election. And the taxpayers “should not” be told by an NFL Ownership, & Elected officials that the, “Stadium is Free, & will be of NO cost to you, just vote Yes On the Measure.”

  3. The “other Mike” is exactly correct about the vampire greed of the NFL. It’s probably too late in Santa Clara (I think we’ve been “done”), but I sincerely hope the residents of Minnesota wake up in time and realize that their representatives more often than not are not going to protect their financial interests. The NFL is not an important national asset that deserves special treatment from government. It just doesn’t.

    Aren’t there other construction projects public money could be spent on that improves the quality of life for all residents? Like, I dunno, maybe safe overpasses/bridges?

    I’m also very disappointed to hear of Mr. Mondale’s role as a facilitator in all of this. I thought his dad was an alright guy.

  4. The NFL, the 49ers, and “the gang of five” Santa Clara Council members should all be brought up on criminal charges for all the illegal activities they have been party to in the City of Santa Clara. The entire campaign has been a well orchestrated bait ‘n switch from the very beginning starting with the “impartial analysis” of the ballot Measure being WROTE BY the 49ers … the measure read like a sleek advertising … everything was going to be wonderful. NOT! They promised JOBS! … but the jobs are going to people outside of our city and even STATE! … they promised money for SCHOOLS … NOT! even though they are taking credit for it now. The 49ers targeted a small community with lots of renters and loads of immigrants that had ‘no skin in the game’ and were easily bought and corruptable by the 49ers’ power and money. The 49ers bought the campaign and LIED and LIED and LIED! The only winners are going to be the 49ers and the city of Santa Clara citizens are going to get it in the endzone!

    Others being faced with a stadium (football, baseball, soccer, or anything) BEWARE and be very afraid. You too can be ripped off just like Santa Clara has been. DO NOT believe the BS … DO NOT allow yourselves to be deceived by owners’ free meals and fireside chats. Be afraid, be VERY AFRAID if there is a proposal brewing in your community for a new sports stadium/arena. GET EVERYTHING in writing and in the measure! We were told that there would be ‘off-ramps’ if the deal wasn’t good for our community — that turned out to be a LIE TOO!

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