It’s unusual for a public official to attack the press for being the first to request public records on a subject of public interest.
But that’s exactly what City Manager Deanna Santana did in her April 8, 2019 “community letter.” By asking for public records, Santana suggests, The Weekly was somehow responsible for the wide dissemination of the fact that a Taylor Swift concert lost $2 million.
The facts show that the City Manager, not the Weekly, was the first to publicly announce that piece of information.
On Feb. 21, 2019 at 11:55 a.m. Santana published her “Community Letter about Communication about Concerts at Levi’s Stadium” in which she wrote that “one concert date alone lost the Santa Clara Stadium Authority over $2 million. Santana also publicized it on Nextdoor.
The Weekly made our records request about the statements in Santana’s letter at 3:12 p.m. Feb. 21.
At the March 19 Santa Clara Stadium Authority meeting, during a discussion of Levi’s Stadium financials, Santana stated at 1:50 into the meeting that the Taylor Swift concert “lost the Stadium Authority $2.1 million.” The Weekly published this information on March 20 in its coverage of the previous night’s Stadium Authority meeting, which required no records request.
In other words, we published this information after the City Manager had spoken about it publicly, not once but twice.
On March 31, 2019 the San Francisco Chronicle published the information about the money-losing concert to its 227,000 readers, with additional commentary about it from Mayor Lisa Gillmor.