Thursday, January 10, 2013

The NFL's Extortion of Santa Clara

Dear Neighbors,


We Santa Clarans are sinking the Santa Clara Stadium Authority $950 MILLION in debt to subsidize Jed York's stadium for him.  We're settling for miserable jobs, atrocious economic activity and massive traffic jams, and that's even after we've given in to the 49ers' demands again and again.

Our reward?   A DDA and a joinder agreement even worse than the previous proposal.   When we collected 5,500 petition signatures to put the $950,000,000 subsidy on a ballot after it increased from $114,000,000, Santa Clarans were told that they would not be allowed to vote again.

Now, get this:  The NFL itself has gotten into the act.  Their demands, from the Mercury News' coverage of late today, include:

'Give us the stadium, the Youth Soccer Park, and the surrounding parking for less than the going rate.'

  • Just a minute:  The 49ers would pay us even less during a Super Bowl than they would during Regular Season play?
'Give us part of your hotel tax receipts.'
  • A revenue stream absolutely vital to our City's General Fund, tapped by the NFL?  In no time at all, Roger Goodell's demands on our Transient Occupancy Tax, or T.O.T, will exceed that pathetic little Ground Rent paid by the 49ers.
'Waive the California Sales Tax on Super Bowl ticket sales, and give our VIPs a break on anything they buy while they're here.'
  • So someone paying a thousand bucks for a football ticket gets to stiff us for $90.   Who on earth do Roger Goodell and Greg Aiello think are going to pay those taxes?  With Sacramento in the shape it's in, try to imagine the likelihood that the same State Government that shoved SB43 down our throats is actually going to forgive those taxes.   In fact, you can bet your bottom dollar that the State will hold Santa Clara responsible for any taxes we waive. 

The spinmeisters will soon be out in force telling us that the League and the 49ers are doing this for our own good - "Gosh, think of all of those cheeseburgers you're gonna sell!" 

Please don't fall for any of it - the NFL's demands boil down to simply this:

'Give us even more breaks for our millionaire team owners and their hanger-on guests, or we won't won't even look at your Super Bowl bid.'

Santa Clara Plays Fair urges Santa Clarans to watch the actions of the "stadium boosters" on our City Council carefully.  As we learn more, we'll share it as soon as we can. 

There is only one word for the actions of the National Football League, and Santa Clarans should repeat that word early and often:  This is extortion.
Please, Santa Clarans:  Tell our Mayor and Council :


Not for Jed.

Not for Roger, either.

Thanks for all of your support,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
Santa Clara Plays Fair