As we approach Christmas, you might think the Holiday Spirit would be bursting out in our City.
That may be true for our residents and readers, but not at City Hall.
Remarkably the San Francisco 49ers pulled off the coup of the year and won the bid for the College Football Playoff National Championship on January 7, at Levi’s Stadium.
Like the Super Bowl, this Big Game attracts 70 thousand fans plus wannabes. They come from different parts of the Country, stay in our hotels for days, eat in our restaurants, use our transit and buy merchandise from our retailers.
In short, they spend a lot of money.
Consider the TV rights; the viewing audience will be in the mega millions.
What a great way to promote Santa Clara.
So, where are the local activities going to take place? Surprise, surprise. Most of the events preceding Big Game day will take place in San Jose.
When the 49ers captured rights to the big game, they also provided assurance to the powers in charge they could afford the cost. In this case the uncovered expenses were estimated at $10 million.
Naturally, you would expect your partners to share a portion of that expense.
The City of Santa Clara has been considered a partner with the 49ers. That is until recently.
When the 49ers visited City Hall to discuss expense sharing, they were met with a lukewarm greeting from City Manager Santana. That meeting became even cooler.
The 49ers were told the City of Santa Clara would not participate even one dime to the expenses of the Big Game.
This is rather unfortunate since the economic impact is so huge that our City will realize over a million dollars in sales tax. When you consider the ticket tax and ancillary income this could increase to more than $2 million.
In addition, if main events were hosted in Santa Clara, the economic value would increase.
Instead, the main events will be in San Jose with our Convention Center getting only a couple of alumni parties.
When you consider the extensive television coverage, with Santa Clara as the focus, the outreach is amazing.
Advertisers pay millions for a 30 second TV spot for this coverage and the City of Santa Clara contributes…nothing?
The 49ers didn’t even blink. They know the intrinsic value of national coverage and the value for our City, our Stadium and their own 49ers management team.
You may think this was a smart money-saving move by our City Council and City Manager.
More likely, it is short-sighted thinking.
When you think of the millions the 49ers have contributed to our schools and sponsored events in our community it is a solid slap in our “partners” face.