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Santa Clara Got Reports on Comp’ed Tickets Regularly, Advised Not to Talk Publicly About Contract Details

Santa Clara officials’ repeated statements that they knew nothing about comp’ed tickets to Levi’s Stadium events is hard to believe because City Hall received reports showing tickets sold and tickets scanned, according to a Dec. 27, 2018 email from 49ers CFO Larry MacNeil to City Manager Deanna Santana.

The email was part of a long-standing dispute between the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) over revealing financial details of individual contracts and performances at Levi’s Stadium.

“If you were not aware of the complimentary tickets for that show, it is only because you neglected to review the report that was provided to your office more than a month ago by ManCo [49ers Stadium Management Company],” MacNeil wrote. “The … report … clearly shows tickets distributed [for the two concerts] of 101,876 and tickets sold of 79,836.


“These tickets were neither discounted nor distributed to the ‘general public,’” he continued. “They were distributed to specific targeted groups in order to ‘paper the house.’

“Comp tickets are distributed for nearly every event that happens at Levi’s Stadium and every other entertainment venue in the country,” he wrote, “The counts of ‘tickets scanned’ versus ‘tickets sold’ are clearly reported on the reports already provided to you.”

MacNeil also advised Santana that public discussion of individual non-NFL events’ financials “has an adverse material impact on ManCo’s ability to book non-NFL events.

“Divulging artists’ confidential business information, combined with the SCSA’s weeknight music ban, impairs ManCo’s ability to perform its duties,” MacNeil wrote. “I want to remind you that your discussion of this particular issue on the Taylor Swift show should remain confidential.

“You responded that you didn’t know if you would or would not keep this confidential and ‘that is not your concern,'” he continued. “This is wrong. The SCSA undermining our efforts is ManCo’s concern.”

Santana’s reply was that this “summary regarding confidentiality is incomplete and misstates the discussion at our last meeting. I’m sure this topic may be revisited, so there is no need to respond point by point…considering that this email stream may not be deemed confidential under the law.”

Santa Clara City Hall’s definition of confidentiality includes distributing a partially redacted copy of Taylor Swift’s contract via responses to public information requests about current non-NFL stadium issues. The phrase “The parties shall keep confidential all provisions of this Agreement” was not redacted.

The information about comp’d tickets to last year’s Taylor Swift concert was first published by the San Francisco Chronicle, but first reported by the City Manager on the City of Santa Clara’s website and distributed to the public.


1 Comment
  1. Peter 5 years ago

    Good article, please keep writing & investigating. The stadium had a little too much deception & favors in it’s vote & construction. It’s management has been the same. It was sold to voters with emphasis on money for the senior center and schools. In truth it was and is welfare for rich. Football fans are great, supportive and passionate but see things through rose colored glasses. Santa Clara didn’t need a stadium, the 49ers did. Are comp’ed tickets a shock to anyone? Our tax dollars, our money is paying for those tickets.

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