By the Numbers: $3 Million
About a month ago, Santa Clara city officials seemed poised to accept an offer from the San Francisco 49ers to flip some soccer fields next to Levi’s Stadium into VIP parking. The city would get $15 million up front, while the Santa Clara Unified School District would get $3 million to upgrade a few soccer fields to make up for the loss. But the NFL team apparently met its match in the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League.
Fearing they could lose fields where 2,000 kids practice nearly every day during soccer season, the soccer clubs packed so many people into the City Council session that the fire marshal had to do some crowd control. They criticized the council for considering a “sweetheart deal,” cast the proposal as a land grab and accused city leaders of being in the pocket of the pro-football team.
With a majority “no” vote from the council, the 49ers was forced to withdraw their offer. But now the Niners can’t even give its $3 million away. Soon after the council rejected its fields-for-parking deal, the 49ers offered that $3 million, purportedly with no strings attached, to fix up city soccer fields.
Last week in a 6-1 decision, the council passed up the peace offering. Councilman Dominic Caserta, whose council campaign was generously financed by the 49ers, was unsurprisingly on the short end of that vote.
Here’s a copy of the city staff report along with a letter from the 49ers.