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.