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Is Levi’s Stadium Meeting Expectations?

How do the 2014-15 stadium financials compare to forecasts made before Levi’s Stadium was built? The short answer is, better than anyone dreamed. It’s difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison because these analyses aren’t in similar formats, don’t include the same things, and don’t even account for things on the same sides of the ledger.

For example, the stadium revenue and expense statement presented at the August 18 Santa Clara City Council meeting subtracts transfers out (debt service and reserve funds) from revenue before stating operating revenue. A 2012 forecast puts these expenses in an expense category, subtracting them after operating expenses. As a result, if you compare just the revenue totals you might miss the fact that gross stadium revenue ($125 million) is 45 percent above the 2012 forecast ($86 million).

Other comparisons are easier.

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Actual debt financing cost for 2015 is 40 percent below that 2012 projection, and 2015 operating expenses are $1.5 million under forecast. Sales tax revenue directly attributable to stadium construction was $800,000, more than 80 percent higher than a 2007 estimate by financial analysts Keyser Marston Associates (KMA). The 2007 study also estimated a 2.7 percent hotel tax increase. Last year Santa Clara’s hotel tax revenue grew almost 19 percent, although it’s hard to pinpoint stadium impact. View more from the KMA studey at http://www.keysermarston.com/project/levis-stadium

Historical stadium documents are on the City website at santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=1197.

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