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Levi’s Stadium Financials: Revenue Higher, Debt Lower and General Fund Benefits $3 Million

Levi’s Stadium outperformed its budget in the fiscal year ending March 30, according to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority’s (SCSA) preliminary 2016-2017 financial report and the proposed 2017-2018 budget, presented at the March 30 City Council meeting. For the year, stadium revenues grew seven percent, while expenses grew by less than half as much, three percent.

Every year since it opened in 2014, Levi’s Stadium has delivered about $3 million directly to Santa Clara’s general fund from ticket fees and performance rent.

But what keeps on giving to Levi’s Stadium’s bottom line is the continuing drop in debt cost as a result of paying off construction debt at a faster rate than anticipated in 2014. Total debt principal and interest payments in FY2017 were $59.9 million, roughly $10 million less than anticipated. Budgeted debt cost for FY2018 is $48.2 million.

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Total SCSA debt at the end of FY2017 was $437 million, down from $494 million in FY2016–down $238 million from the stadium opening in 2014. Total debt at the end FY2018 is budgeted to drop another $60 million, to $406 million.

Stadium reserves will end the year at $41 million: $10.9 million operating reserves, $7.7 million operations and maintenance (O&M) reserve, $1.6 million in discretionary fund reserves, $9.3 million in capital expenditure reserves and debt service reserves of $11.5 million.

The City’s public safety costs for stadium events are separately tracked and are fully reimbursed.

The 49ers stadium management company (ManCo) pays up to $1.9 million in public safety costs for NFL events, and any additional expense above the threshold is paid from the SCSA’s discretionary fund. Public safety costs for non-NFL events are fully reimbursed from event revenues. The City Council approved these arrangements in 2012.

The proposed FY2018 stadium budget estimates $76.4 million in revenues and $20.6 million in expenses.

Breaking Down Levi’s Stadium 2016-2017 Operating Revenues and Expenses

Stadium operating revenues: $87 million:

  • $39.1M Seat Builder Licenses (SBLs)
  • $24.5M facilities rent
  • $8.2M NFL ticket surcharges
  • $6.2M naming rights
  • $6.1M net non-NFL event revenue
  • $2.4M non-NFL ticket surcharges
  • $590,000 sponsorship revenue
  • $230,000 (paid to the City’s general fund)

Stadium revenue is used for paying down debt, stadium operating expenses, and funding reserves and the discretionary fund.

Stadium operating expense: $20 million:

Shared expenses (50/50) between SCSA and ManCo except grounds-keeping, 70/30:

  • $3.5M stadium operations
  • $1.6M engineering and maintenance
  • $1M guest services
  • $1.4M security
  • $2.7M insurance
  • $165,000 grounds-keeping
  • $259,000 Stadium Management Fee

SCSA expenses

  • $2.9M performance rent (paid to the City’s general fund)
  • $1.7M SBL sales operations
  • $1.7M utilities
  • $1.2M SCSA administrative expenses
  • $699,000 discretionary fund expenses (currently public safety)
  • $248,000 use of StadCo improvements
  • $180,000 Measure J audit
  • $112,000 other

Numbers are rounded. The full budget report can be found at SantaClaraCA.gov, as an attachment to the City Council 3/21/17 meeting agenda.

The SCSA is a separate legal entity from the City of Santa Clara. The Santa Clara City Council is the SCSA board of directors and the City Manager is the SCSA’s executive director. The SCSA has no staff. Instead, City staff perform that role, and the City is reimbursed from stadium operating revenues.

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