Santa Clara: the little city that could…go bankrupt. [updated]

The joke is on Santa Clara

In spite of a citizen’s group protest, it appears that the San Francisco “professional” football “team,” the “49’ers”, with the cooperation of a few less than intelligent city council members (who will undoubtedly get seating priority), have hornswoggled the citizens of the tiny city of Santa Clara, CA, to go into debt to the tune of some 850 million dollars (or more, who can guess the final bill?), in order to build a stadium for said “team”  (which is actually a small group of spoiled millionaire trust funders). This, notwithstanding the experience of Cincinnati and other cities, or the fact that no benefits will accrue to said citizens. The name of the team will not change to the “Santa Clara 49’ers”. (although the owners did strike gold there). The only jobs that will result will be hourly parking lot attendants and hot dog hawkers. Meanwhile, the city will have to pay overtime to police and sanitation workers; drunken jerks will wander the streets, accosting citizens, urinating in alleys, vomiting on lawns, and tossing refuse from their vehicles; and the traffic will paralyze and pollute the area for 8 hours at least on every game day.

I hope that for the coming year, the city council will authorize a similar amount for the public schools, community colleges, public transit, street repair, updating the water supply and sewage treatment plant. Because, those would contribute to actual employment and opportunity, and quality of life for its citizens…

Oh, wait…

March 14, 2012: from the San Jose Mercury News, it appears that the city is skating on thin ice. Exact figures were not given but the city is on the hook for something around 800,000,000. If the interest rate is 3.5%, then the lease payments will almost exactly match the payments on a 40 year loan. However, if the interest rate is higher or the debt load is higher, the city will have to make money on other aspects of the deal, such as naming rights, seat licensing, and concerts, in order to come out even. Apparently they are planning on making several million on naming rights and about the same on concerts. Got news: naming rights will probably not go for more than a million, and concerts? who is going to play that venue? the Beatles? oh wait….
The city could easily lose a million dollars a year and 5 million a year is not out of the question. Not much you say? Tell that to the teachers, police and firemen who will get laid off by the city so they can go work as hot dog vendors and parking lot attendants? So this stadium deal may well COST jobs instead of creating them.
Unless the Oakland Raiders use the stadium (and why would they?), Santa Clara is in the jackpot.

obtw: Stockton.

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