Community Letter about Communication about Concerts at Levi’s® Stadium
February 21, 2019
Dear Santa Clara Community,
The purpose of this communication is to provide context for a recent Santa Clara Weekly article, written by Carolyn Schuk, that included a statement by a concert promoter that he would never book a weeknight show at Levi’s® Stadium due to the ‘curfew.’
The issue of weekday and weeknight time restrictions for Stadium events, primarily concerts, has been a topic of discussion in the media and with the San Francisco 49ers. Certain interest groups assert that weekday concerts aren’t being booked because they must end by 10 p.m. and if the scheduled end time were to be extended to 11 o’clock on weeknights, net revenue would increase for the General Fund.
WHAT THE STORY OMITS is the fact that the 49ers have been booking money losing events since they began managing Levi’s® Stadium. The fact is that concerts are not always money-makers. For example, one concert date alone lost the Santa Clara Stadium Authority over $2 million. Also, the 49ers give away tens of thousands of free tickets at a financial loss to the Stadium Authority. The article is just one example of the media and 49ers’ choosing to highlight only the events that slant the story on the “curfew”, without discussing the other money losing events or free giveaways that cost the Stadium Authority money.
In the City’s news release issued last October, we reported that non-NFL events held at the Stadium on average have brought in between $45,000 to $55,000 per event to the General Fund. On an annual basis, the 49ers book several non-NFL events that lose between $3 - $3.6 million dollars which offset the net revenue from the weekend events, such as concerts and soccer matches that make money.
Further, the 49ers agreed to the time restrictions that were part of the Development Permit conditions of approval for the Stadium back in 2010. As recently as September 28, 2017, 49ers President Al Guido confirmed their compliance with the permit condition in a letter to the Interim Stadium Authority Executive Director.
Last, the Board has publicly stated that it is open to discussing the conditions under which they would consider time extension for weekday concerts upon demonstrated improved performance regarding community impacts and financial performance on events. We truly hope the San Francisco 49ers will work hand-in-hand with the community and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority to be a true community partner.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT is the Team’s commitments to the community in the Development Permit and in Measure J. Validated polling data confirms that Santa Clarans are concerned about the quality of life of our neighborhoods near the Stadium and, specifically, if changes came to weekday Stadium event end times. Later concerts on weeknights bring noise disturbances, loud and raucous behavior, increased fly-over noise during and after Stadium events, and foot traffic noise that can last for hours after a concert ends. Instead, we focus on the cost-benefit of these events given the low revenues to the Stadium Authority and, particularly, the value of supporting events, with our very limited staff, when millions of dollars are lost for the Stadium Authority.
How is it a good decision to adversely impact the community as described above, deploy hundreds of staff on an overtime bases in a City already limited in resources, and for the purpose of losing millions of dollars?
Here’s why the Stadium Authority is currently standing firm on stadium event time restrictions, based on statistically valid data and extensive community input gathered in 2018:
- In a telephone survey of registered Santa Clara voters, 60 percent of survey takers said noise from stadium events was one of the most important issues to address.
- A survey conducted by EMC Research found that approximately a third of near neighbors and citywide voters were concerned about noise from events at night.
- The EMC Research survey also found that roughly a third of near neighbors and citywide voters were concerned about the number of weekday events.
- Public Dialogue Consortium’s 2018 engagement activities including community interviews at two events, focus groups, online questionnaire and three community events with over 400 participants echoed what the surveys told us. Near neighbors, especially, voiced concerns about noise generated by Stadium events, including post-event noise from people and traffic.
- Many residents involved in the Public Dialogue Consortium’s public engagement process stated that a lack of trust developed between the City, community and the 49ers Stadium Management Company, mostly due to the lack of financial transparency as well as follow through on initial commitments made when voters approved the Stadium via Measure J.
The Stadium Authority has been clear that it wants to support the 49ers in our mutual interest of having a successful venue. Similarly, Santa Clarans want great concerts, great quality of life, improved financial performance, and for the 49ers to be a good neighbor and business partner with the City, too.
For questions about the weekday and weeknight time restrictions for Stadium events, contact the City Manager’s Office at 408-615-2210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.