NFL

San Francisco Politicians Don't Like the Deal They Made to Host the Super Bowl and Want to Blame the NFL

Politicians who voted to bring the Super Bowl to the Bay Area now want the NFL to pay for it.

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Matthew Almon Roth/flickr

San Francisco will be hosting Super Bowl 50 on February 7. More accurately, Santa Clara, where the San Francisco 49ers play at Levi's Stadium, will host the game, and San Francisco will host three related, official events in the nine days prior. The National Football League (NFL) chose the Bay Area over South Florida (Miami) back in 2013 after accepting bids from both places.

The bid for the 49ers to host the Super Bowl was actually part of the 2012 deal that let the team move out of Candlestick Park in San Francisco and to Santa Clara in 2014 in the first place. That deal promised that a "Super Bowl bid committee will be formed and jointly led by the City and the Forty Niners to work with the NFL to bring a Super Bowl to the Bay Area as early as 2016," as well as nearly $5.3 million in payments for the early lease termination.

Now, less than a month before the Super Bowl, some members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (their city council) are drawing attention to how much "hosting" the Super Bowl will cost San Francisco—$4.8 million. They are led by John Avalos, who was also on the board in 2012 that voted unanimously in favor of a deal that let the 49ers leave the city in exchange for nearly $5.3 million in payments and help getting the Super Bowl to the Bay Area.

Avalos requested the city budget analyst review the costs associated with hosting the Super Bowl after stonewalling from the mayor, whose limited numbers were ballooning. That report (PDF) estimates the cost to the city by department, with the municipal transit authority at nearly $2.4 million and the police at exactly $1.5 million, and recommended the city seek reimbursement of those costs from the NFL.

That report points to the agreement Santa Clara arrived at with the bidding committee, which mandated the committee pay a number of the associated municipal costs of hosting the Super Bowl. That agreement also waived parking fees and ticket surcharges for the game, and the hotel tax for NFL employees. This fact, however, was not in the report released by the San Francisco budget analyst, and no such exemptions by San Francisco were in the report.

The city of San Francisco, the report notes, did not make any agreements with the NFL, only with the bidding committee the city helped put together. The report concedes the city did sign letters of assurances that promised not to seek reimbursement from the NFL for police, fire, or emergency services.

The report and the supervisors who asked for it also mentions that the NFL has a larger revenue ($9.2 billion) than the city ($8.9 billion) a number of times. More importantly, only the fire department and the department of emergency management included Super Bowl associated costs in their budgets. Other departments, according to the report, were told to find the money, and did a "non-disclosure" the report calls a "disservice" to the city council. The city is facing a $100 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year, which is also mentioned a number of times by the report.

Now city supervisors are finding a convenient scapegoat. "I've said it from the beginning and this report confirms my fears: taxpayers are being sacked to pay for a party for billionaires and special interests," Supervisor Jane Kim offered in a statement. "The NFL is a multi-billion dollar corporation and can pay for its own marketing and should absolutely reimburse San Franciscans for every single cent."

Like Avalos, Jane Kim was also on the board in 2012 when it voted to get the NFL to bring the Super Bowl to the Bay area. There had been 46 Super Bowls to that point. The event hasn't transformed radically in the years since the board of supervisors approved a deal that included trying to get San Francisco to host a Super Bowl. 

And how did Santa Clara avoid falling in the same trap of politicians seeking the glory of hosting "international events" (as Mayor Ed Lee "gushed" when the Bay Area was announced as the host of the 2016 Super Bowl) and then seeking to disassociate themselves from the additional costs they agree to take on when they spend taxpayer money? Voters in Santa Clara passed Measure J in 2010, which approved construction of the new 49ers stadium under several conditions, including that the city would not spend money from its general fund on stadium-related activities. Voters can demand such measures to prohibit politicians from interfering in sports without even having to approve spending on money-losing stadiums in the process. Some might say that's just the purpose of city charters, and all constitutions.

Watch Reason TV on why no smart city would want the NFL:

The kicker to our story: When San Francisco won over Miami to host the 2016 Super Bowl, the decision was credited in large part to the Florida legislature refusing to commit to public funding for a new stadium for the Dolphins.

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  1. San Francisco Politicians Don’t Like the Deal They Made to Host the Super Bowl and Want to Blame the NFL

    You made your bed, dipshits. Now sleep in them. Morons.

  2. Do they know that the NFL will break their legs?
    Really, cartels are not kind to people that go back on their deals.

    1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the NFL is better at this than the SF pols.

      1. This thread of comments, plus infinity.

        Maybe we should elect the management of the NFL to some sort of group Presidency?

  3. Voters in Santa Clara passed Measure J in 2010, which approved construction of the new 49ers stadium under several conditions, including that the city would not spend money from its general fund on stadium-related activities.

    Money will be transferred from the General Fund to the Totally Not Stadium-Related Activities Fund and then to the Stadium-Related Activities Fund. And there will many expressions of surprise and amazement that weasels engage in weasel-like behaviour.

  4. This is a city that by in large can’t decide what characteristics constitute a gender. How on earth can they be expected to evaluate something as complex as the economic impact of a single event much less how their own role is applied to that?

    1. “Who wants cake?!”

  5. They did not make a deal with the NFL They made a deal with the committee that got them the Super bowl they wanted but now that they realize it costs more than what they thought. At best, their issue is with the committee. How much revenue the NFL brings in each year compared to the city is laughably irrelevant.

  6. Is San Francisco much of a sports town, or is it San Jose and Walnut Creek?

      1. The pool noodles get around.

  7. Boo hoo hoo – my tiny violin is playing for you

  8. Well, maybe the Twin Cities can outdo San Francisco in the losing money on the Super Bowl (sorry, I don’t know how to do links in this comment window):

    http://www.startribune.com/no-…..262253921/

    1. Oh, the link is established automatically.

    2. Yups. Of course, we are kind of good at giving away the farm to these parasites after hosting the MLB All Star game a few years ago.

      http://www.startribune.com/cit…..268209402/

      That is only the list of goodies we know about.

  9. Looks like somebody wanted to claim they were a “World Class City”. How come every time somebody says those words, they are trying to reach into my pocket. Nobody ever says, “I’m going to start a business, people are going to love our product, and our success will help make this area a world class city.” Nope, it’s always about reaching into somebody else’s pocket.

    I also would like people who use that phrase to provide a short list of 10 “World Class Cities” so we can see where this is going.

  10. Are you saying that politicians wanted to have something but not pay for it? That’s so unlike them.

  11. Are you saying that politicians wanted to have something but not pay for it? That’s so unlike them.

  12. Voters can demand such measures to prohibit politicians from interfering in sports without even having to approve spending on money-losing stadiums in the process.

    That is so cute. You think a law will stop the pols from spending money on boondoggles like this. We have a state law in Minnesoda that requires a referendum before they can spend any money on a stadium. The state legislature however passed a bill that exempted the financing plan from having to go to a referendum.

    The really sad thing is that the bastard county commissioners who voted for the abomination of a stadium deal were all re-elected. We’re screwed.

  13. That report points to the agreement Santa Clara arrived at with the bidding committee, which mandated the committee pay a number of the associated municipal costs of hosting the Super Bowl. That agreement also waived parking fees and ticket surcharges for the game, and the hotel tax for NFL employees. This fact, however, was not in the report released by the San Francisco budget analyst, and no such exemptions by San Francisco were in the report.

    “You fucked up. You trusted us.”

  14. Some background:
    Neither Kim nor Avalos give a damn about the city budget. They are in the ‘progessive’ wing of the city government as opposed to the ‘moderates’ who are slightly less brain damaged.
    So this is nothing other than grandstanding on their part, and if some city auditor noticed the difference between the Santa Clara and SF contracts, they’d have never heard about it. But they were given a stump and promptly jumped up on it.

    1. I was listening to Willie Brown on a Mattier and Ross segment on the radio this afternoon. He was on the committee (of course) that made the deal with the NFL. They all laughed it up about the taxpayers getting stuck with the tab. “We made it happen dammit, and the voters don’t care anyway, since a good percentage don’t pay taxes here anyway,” seemed to be the general gist of his bullshit.

      Every time I cross the Bay Bridge and see that sign with his name on it I have an almost unbearable urge to pull to the side of the road and remove it. It drives me crazy.

      1. Willie was working a room where wife and I were (function) a couple of weeks ago; he’s pretty palsied and I wish I could say I was sorry.
        Every time I drive anywhere near 4th street, I hope he and Rose Pak get the same ‘traditional Chinese medicine’ for their ills and die before they cause more harm.

  15. Sf withdrew consent. This is officially rape, right?

    1. Exactly, she had a great time with her new friend. They got down and dirty, she loved every second of it. Years later her friends say, “you did what with who”? Then, some of those friends introduced her to a victims rights advocate who showed her that she hadn’t actually enjoyed it and that she is a victim. That bastard had violated her and deserves to be punished in a court made up of emotionally damaged muppets.

      Retroactive withdrawal of consent.

  16. We’re out 16m, have a stadium to pay off, no team, no new stadium, and actually got defrauded by the NFL.

    Fuck off.

    1. Ellison’s rubber-ducky races only cost SF taxpayers $12.8M if you believe government lies.

      1. Does this have anything to do with the NFL openly defrauding a city?

        1. Defraud? The city voluntarily entered this contract and the costs should have been obvious. There was no fraud involved, just government incompetence and arrogance.

  17. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.richi8.com

  18. Better late than never.

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