A three–way deal among the City of Santa Clara, Santa Clara Unified School District, and the San Francisco 49ers may hold the key to providing alternative soccer fields for use during stadium events, improving schools' athletic fields, and satisfying the City's obligation to supply additional close–by parking for Levi's Stadium.
At the April 9 SCUSD Board meeting, the 49ers will unveil a proposal for a joint project with the City to upgrade some district athletic fields in return for use of the existing Youth Soccer Park (YSP) parking lot on Stars & Stripes Dr. for event parking starting in August 2015. Because the deal depends on the school district's response, the proposal will be introduced first at the school board meeting.
“This proposal incorporates a great deal of collaboration to address two equally pressing needs: increasing access to youth athletic fields in Santa Clara and identifying long–term parking solutions for Levi’s Stadium,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews in an April 6statement by the 49ers. “I’m encouraged by the progress that has been made to date.”
The 49ers are offering $3 million for upgrading the school district fields, and $15 million prepaid to the City for the use of the YSP for parkingfor the term of the stadium lease, according to an.The City would receive 70 percent of allnet parking revenue, or $5 per space for events with free parking.
“This proposal should serve as a further demonstration of the ongoing commitment being shown by the 49ers organization to the health and well–being of Santa Clara,” said City Council Member Dominic Caserta in the April 6 statement.
“”Not only does this proposal increase access, but also it raises the bar for the quality of athletic fields available for use by students that attend Santa Clara schools,” SCUSD Trustee Noelani Sallings said in the same statement.
The goal is to provide alternative, and more accessible, soccer fields on stadium event days – which has been an issue for the last year, with soccer fans angry at the 49ers for what they believed was reneging on a commitment to provide these alternatives – a as well as providing additional parking for the stadium.
“After receiving feedback from the youth soccer community,” said 49ers COO Al Guido in the April 6 statement, “we have developed a proposal that we believe benefits both youth sports and schools in the community by improving and increasing fields available while fortifying the long–term health of Levi’s Stadium by ensuring adequate proximate parking.”
As part of the agreement, the 49ers will work with SCUSD to ensure that the youth soccer groups currently playing at the YSP will be able to play at three new or renovated soccer fields on SCUSD property on Levi’s Stadium event days. The 49ers will pay the district $3 million at contract signing, which SCUSD can use to upgrade fields and make other improvements.
It's not known if the proposed replacement for the 800 parking spaces that the 49ers were promised (per the 2010 term sheet) on city–owned land across the street on Tasman. Subsequently, the City entered into exclusive negotiating agreements for development with the Related Companies and football–star–turned–developer Joe Montana; requiring an acceptable replacement for the stadium parking.
Ultimately, the 49ers are aiming for a permanent lease on the YSP land by 2017.
They're offering to pre–pay the $15 million in land rent to the City, which the City can use toward building a long–planned Youth Sports Center. Current use of the YSP would continue through the conclusion of the 2016 NFL schedule.
At that point, the49ers would assume management of the YSP site, and use the entire park for parking, and the 49ers would pay all design, permit and construction costs required for the conversion. If the 49ers want to develop the YSP site for anything other than parking, the rent would reset to Fair Market Value at that point.
One thing is certain, the proposal is sure to trigger lively discussion at the April 9 SCUSD Board meeting. It's item H–2 on the agenda, which can be found at www.santaclarausd.org/overview.cfm?subpage=145153. Board meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. in the District Boardroom.