Seeing the San Francisco 49ers return to success on Sunday was certainly satisfying.
While winning isn’t everything, in football, it still remains in first place.
No question, the 49ers brought a magic ingredient to their opposition against the Chicago Bears called “desire.” While the season is well underway, and the 49ers are still in the loss column, they looked and played like seasoned champions.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo demonstrated why he is one of the most lethal quarterbacks in the game (when he is healthy). While a bit tentative in the first half as the Bears slowed the 49ers, it was to no avail once the 49ers found their mojo, going on to victory, 33-22.
Meanwhile, back at Levi’s Stadium, more things are going on to capture the attention of the country and the entire world of sports.
Al Guido, President of the 49ers, has been a key spokesman and leader of the movement to bring a return of the 2026 World Cup to the United States and to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
It has been more than 25 years since the World Cup was held in this country and the Bay Area when Stanford provided their stadium as one of the dozens of venues across the country. Directing and coordinating so many Bay Area events at the time was Peter Bridgewater, who has now left the planet to play in the big arena in the sky.
Showing off the venue at Levi’s Stadium is a major plus for Santa Clara and the entire Bay Area. On display are all the facilities of the stadium, from ample parking, to concessions, seating, premier club houses, field condition, locker rooms to access.
While football has its fans in the millions, the World Cup has a worldwide following of tens of millions. The 2026 World Cup will be held in and by Mexico, Canada and the United States.
In the U.S., 17 cities are competing for one of 11 spots as a host city. This is what makes hosting the international sports event such a feather in the cap of the country and City that captures the World Cup appointment as host. It is a powerful plus for Santa Clara to have a premier facility such as Levi’s to attract tens of thousands of fans, players and media coverage.
We hear that fired City Attorney Brian Doyle is lobbying the Council to put up bureaucratic barriers to an event that will bring substantial revenue for reducing the City’s $34 million deficit. Just like the former Council’s curfew that cut City revenues by millions.
You might remember Doyle. He’s the one who, with Mayor Lisa Gillmor and her former Council cronies, lost taxpayers $6 million by fighting a voting rights lawsuit that the City lost twice. We urge the Council not to give an ear to people whose only interest seems to be wasting Santa Clarans’ money.
What an absolute accomplishment it would be for Levi Stadium to host the World Cup. The opportunity for the City to show off the stadium and supporting amenities is tremendous. Even though the event is 5 years off, the additional influx of income from hotels and restaurants would go a long way towards reducing Santa Clara’s current deficit as well as provide support for on-going expenses. Surrounding cities will benefit as well. It is well known that Mayor Gillmor, Councilmember Watanabe, and City Manager Santana are no fans of the stadium but to be honest THAT IS THEIR PROBLEM! If they put up ANY roadblocks and barriers to the World Cup being held at the Stadium, they are not representing nor considering the people of Santa Clara and the benefit the proceeds will bring to the city . If they put up roadblocks and barriers they are only representing their own self-loathing of the 49er Organization and Stadium. There is no doubt the additional traffic will affect businesses and homes around the stadium on World Cup game days but it is not a forever situation. Anyone who has traveled down Great America Parkway on a Sunday of a 49er home game knows what the traffic is like. The Mayor, Council, and City Manager need to look at the big picture of the benefit to Santa Clara and close off outside, self-serving, negative voices who are only trying to retaliate.
In 2019 Mayor Gillmor, Councilmember Watanabe, and City Manager Santana were highly supportive of paying a consultant to market and promote Santa Clara as a ‘destination city’. With that, then wouldn’t having the World Cup held at Levi Stadium be a HUGE promotion that has worldwide coverage? It would not just be a single event like the Super Bowl but multiple games played over multiple days all with worldwide television exposure for Santa Clara. What an easy way to market and promote Santa Clara! Sort of a no-brainer!