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Santa Clara County yanks $30 million in funding for 49ers stadium

Maybe they’ll need to use Personal Breathing Licenses at the new 49ers stadium, after all.

In a surprise move, Santa Clara County has pulled $30 million that it previously had pledged to the team’s new stadium, according to Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News.

Per Rosenberg, the team and Santa Clara city politicians “strongly and passionately object” to the move.  (Maybe they should try to strenuously object.)

County officials have decided to keep the money, explaining that they’d rather devote the cash to teachers than to “little televisions in the back of stadium seats,” a feature that county tax collector George Putris believes the team plans to install.

In 2010, Santa Clara County voters approved the use of $40 million in redevelopment funds.  California, however, scuttled redevelopment agencies after the local redevelopment agency paid only $10 million to the stadium effort.  The 49ers paid the remaining $30 million, with the understanding that the local redevelopment agency would repay the money from property tax revenues.

The county now believes there’s no legal obligation to do so, and the board responsible for the money voted 4-3 on Friday to spend the money instead on local government and schools.

“Let’s be real,” Putris said.  “That stadium is going to get built whether or not you get this $30 million.”

While the 49ers plan to eat the money if it’s not recovered, the meal may not come until after everyone feats on plenty of law firm invoices.

“Ladies and gentleman, retain your attorneys:  The litigation is to begin,” County Assessor Larry Stone said.

That could be the official slogan of the 2012 NFL season.  And possibly 2013.

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73 Responses to “Santa Clara County yanks $30 million in funding for 49ers stadium”
  1. twodat says: Jun 23, 2012 11:57 PM

    Bleak House rules

  2. jimbo75025 says: Jun 23, 2012 11:59 PM

    Spending tax money on schools and other government needs instead of a football stadium? How dare they?

  3. raider2124 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:00 AM

    Cali would rather waste the money on wind turbines and green every bs.

  4. cali49er707 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:02 AM

    who cares??? i will be showing my face there wearing my 9ER gear!!!!!

  5. fm31970 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:04 AM

    TV screens when you’re watching the game live and in person? Inconceivable!

  6. eastsideballa says: Jun 24, 2012 12:04 AM

    F*** the niners, have em play in a sandlot for all I care. Good for Santa Clara.

  7. 4evrnyt says: Jun 24, 2012 12:06 AM

    Imbecile county members that think they are smarter then the legal team of a multi-billion dollar company? I guarantee every single one of them has run their last term in their position.

  8. hulkhogansays says: Jun 24, 2012 12:07 AM

    They should do us all a favor and dismantle that franchise, send them to London with a new logo etc. brother.

  9. drunkenagitator says: Jun 24, 2012 12:07 AM

    Good, no level of government should be footing the bill for these ridiculous sports palaces (which will be obsolete in 25 years anyway). NFL owners are wealthy enough to fund their own stadiums, time for this scam to come to an end.

  10. bucks4ever13 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:24 AM

    NFL teams make plenty of money. Let them pay for their stadiums and let governments put their money where it’s needed. I applaud the move. There are more important things.

  11. trollaikman8 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:26 AM

    Wow, politicians with balls and foresight. Who knew.

  12. captainwisdom8888 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:26 AM

    If San Fran wins a superbowl this season, it will be because of Patrick Willis and that defense…and Alex Smith will be synonymous with Trent Dilfer.

  13. raqaiw says: Jun 24, 2012 12:28 AM

    Gotta love big business.
    If you decide to yank $100 from your cable bill, then tell them “Let’s be real,that cable is going to get to my tv whether or not you get this $100.” ,you’ll be sent to a collection agency in a heartbeat, but if the government or corporation decides to do the same thing, it’s just business. Strategic default I believe it’s called. Crazy.

  14. lks311 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:31 AM

    raider2124 says:
    Jun 24, 2012 12:00 AM
    Cali would rather waste the money on wind turbines and green every bs.

    Spoken like a guy that could give a rat’s butt about the future of any natural resources after he croaks. Not surprised that that sentiment comes from a Raiders’ fan.

  15. bleedinggreenngold says: Jun 24, 2012 12:37 AM

    Good call Florio, that should be the official slogan. Each year, pro football becomes less of a game and more of a business. Doctors, laywers, stadium deals, litigation after litigation, suspension hearings galore, difficult CBA negotiations, politics, mega TV productions, halftime show mishaps – no doubt the NFL is living up to it’s billing as the best form of reality TV. Drama, drama, drama. Time for the commish to marry one of the Kardashians. God help us.

  16. monkeyhateclean says: Jun 24, 2012 12:47 AM

    LA 49’ers!

  17. sfloyal says: Jun 24, 2012 12:55 AM

    Patrick Willis knocks on door of Jamie Matthews (mayor of Santa Clara). “Oh hey Patrick…(awkward silence)…ya, here’s your $30 million”

  18. jimmysee says: Jun 24, 2012 1:10 AM

    raider2124 says:
    Jun 24, 2012 12:00 AM

    Cali would rather waste the money on wind turbines and green every bs.


    May be the dumbest comment ever on PFT.

  19. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Jun 24, 2012 1:11 AM

    So the 49ers trusted the government and now they’re screwed? Welcome to 2012!

  20. southpaw79 says: Jun 24, 2012 1:19 AM

    I wonder if that would work with my state taxes? Instead of paying out my taxes I am just going to give the money to my daughters school. Is that okay Mr. Government?
    …. huh, partial write off, what does that mean…. hey why are their cops here?

  21. norcalmafia says: Jun 24, 2012 1:24 AM

    Indian givers……..

  22. jason1980 says: Jun 24, 2012 1:25 AM

    Move the 49’ers to Atlanta, they need an NFL team.

  23. TIM says: Jun 24, 2012 1:27 AM

    I presume the team got the promise in writing,since they already knew that most politicians lie. The team will win it in court.

  24. socal9er says: Jun 24, 2012 1:37 AM

    I bet the teachers don’t see one dime off that money. Funds have a strange way of disappearing, I should know my wife’s a teacher.

  25. omnipotentcrab says: Jun 24, 2012 1:37 AM

    I don’t have problems with them giving the funding to school teachers, since I have a bunch of friends in the bay area that are teachers. I’ve seen how bad the schools are there, but at the same time it’s pretty shady to make a deal and then renege on it after the 49er’s have already spent 30 million out of pocket.

  26. drsteller says: Jun 24, 2012 1:59 AM

    A tax collector named Putris? You can’t make this stuff up.

  27. heymuzzwatchadoin says: Jun 24, 2012 2:13 AM

    Cali is already a disgrace with its bloated, bureaucratic, edukatiomal system, so throw more money at it… sure.

    Politicians are afraid of the teacher’s union, plain and simple. The stadium would be a better investment.

  28. jikkle49 says: Jun 24, 2012 2:23 AM

    The city can spend the money however they want BUT don’t tell someone you’re going to give them the money and than wait till after they already started to build the stadium and say “We’re going to keep it and what are you going to do about it? Move?

    What a classless move on SC’s part and I hope the 49ers sue and win.

  29. kacapaco says: Jun 24, 2012 2:25 AM

    No one forced the county to promise @ z beginning. At the end, Poor tax payer will be hooked for the 30 millions + attorney fees.

  30. veence69 says: Jun 24, 2012 2:27 AM

    L.A. 49ers

  31. mgfred says: Jun 24, 2012 2:28 AM

    I think we spend like $480,000 last year to move a bush in Marin County…

  32. veence69 says: Jun 24, 2012 2:29 AM

    raider2124 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:00 AM

    Cali would rather waste the money on wind turbines and green every bs.


    When they should be buying more Free Market Tea (imported from Korea).. *slams head against desk*

  33. starfan79 says: Jun 24, 2012 2:52 AM

    That’s some BS. Damn hippy Indian givers.

  34. tatum064 says: Jun 24, 2012 2:55 AM

    twodat says:
    Jun 23, 2012 11:57 PM
    Bleak House rules
    “The Black Hole rules”.

    there, fixed it.

    dont believe it, until ground is broken and construction has begun…

  35. 49ersgiants4life says: Jun 24, 2012 4:19 AM

    The NFL is all about kids getting exercise and their play 60 crap but now PE is getting pulled from schools all over cause they can’t afford it I love the 49ers but if they go after this money I will be very disappointed

  36. saintsfan26 says: Jun 24, 2012 4:21 AM

    Move them to L.A.

  37. derrickbrooks4president says: Jun 24, 2012 4:24 AM

    L.A. 49ers!

  38. devildog911 says: Jun 24, 2012 4:24 AM

    Who cares? We just want football.

  39. Revolution22 says: Jun 24, 2012 4:27 AM

    ^ No kidding. Again, big government wins over taxpayers going to games, and putting money BACK into the economy.

    “Let’s be real,” Putris said. “That stadium is going to get built whether or not you get this $30 million.”

    Oh really, a-hole? You guys PLEGED it! That “real” enough for ya?

  40. huskersrock1 says: Jun 24, 2012 5:05 AM

    I have no problem with them not funding the stadium and California needs all the money it can get. However to say you will then back out because “it will happen anyway” sounds rather leech like to me. Of course they are democrats, nevermind carry on.

  41. tomsd1 says: Jun 24, 2012 5:12 AM

    LOL – and the people there want the new stadium for the Niners. Wonder what that says about the Chargers already very bleak prospects for a new stadium – and the very weak efforts by our outgoing flatfoot – Our “Strong Mayor” – Jerry Sanders.

  42. blackbug99 says: Jun 24, 2012 5:21 AM

    Now they can have a TV at every child’s desk!!

  43. purpleman527 says: Jun 24, 2012 5:23 AM

    Awesome !!!!

    No funding of billionaires is allowed.

    Vikings Fan

  44. familystead says: Jun 24, 2012 6:02 AM

    Nice MASH reference!

  45. piemasteruk says: Jun 24, 2012 6:11 AM

    That’s a nasty bait and switch. They want the stadium, but don’t want to pay for it, so they promise the money wait until the work has started and then withdraw the money knowing that it will be too costly to change the plans now.

  46. southridge23 says: Jun 24, 2012 6:14 AM

    49ers: I want you to pay for my house so I can make a gillion dollars and have it all to myself.
    San Fran: I’m not paying for that!
    49ers: well then I am suing you!

    ….god bless America

  47. pcoisma says: Jun 24, 2012 6:49 AM

    Screwing with the 49ers on a approved expenditure. Nice work. Now I am more confident that the Rams stay in St.Louis.

  48. worldwidebleater says: Jun 24, 2012 7:04 AM

    Jim Harbaugh has threatened each one with a vigorous handshake.

  49. samapoc says: Jun 24, 2012 7:04 AM

    Considering the economy, this isn’t surprising. Also, that stadium design is horribly ugly! Why can’t teams at least make an effort, like Chicago did. Stands surrounded by giant billboards is a terrible idea.

  50. steelcity23 says: Jun 24, 2012 7:05 AM

    “The county now believes there’s no legal obligation to do so”

    Ok, so you agree to kick in $40 million, pay $10 million then cry you can’t afford to pay the other $30 million. 49ers say that’s fine we’ll cover it, you just pay us when you can. Then after they brake ground you find a loop hole and say were not paying you at all. Oh and of course the money is for “schools”, I’m sure it is.

    Santa Clara stadium needs a new name.

  51. mtheparrothead says: Jun 24, 2012 7:06 AM

    Yeah, the money will be going to the teachers. I’ll take that bet

  52. derrickbrooks4president says: Jun 24, 2012 7:09 AM

    The Bears stadium is one of the worst if not the worst in the league.

  53. 3dscanman says: Jun 24, 2012 7:12 AM

    applause; 30 mil is pocket change when it comes to stadiums, any other use of that money would be better spent – including studying frog mating habits – correct, the stadium will get built anyway.

  54. seanb20124 says: Jun 24, 2012 7:20 AM

    They are doing it for the children,

  55. jimmysee says: Jun 24, 2012 7:43 AM

    Aren’t there contracts covering the respective contributions to this?

  56. Patriot42 says: Jun 24, 2012 8:33 AM

    Those NFL should fund all of these stadiums because the fans pay enough at the gate.

  57. ernie ernie says: Jun 24, 2012 8:45 AM

    If the County big mouths said they would pay X amount of money, its got to be in writing or by a vote that is public record so reneging on the deal is just saying, sue us and see how much you get. By the time they spend the money on teachers contracts there will be none left.
    I would love to see a Judgement against the County that says no tax collections on the property or ticket sales for 20 years.
    I’m tired of all these Cities and Counties being afraid to take on the unions that are causing all the financial pain. Everyone is waiting for the Fed’s to bail them out.

  58. blacknyellablacknyella says: Jun 24, 2012 9:21 AM

    Going to ‘the Stick’ is the worst NFL experience I ever had. Traffic in/out is an abomination. Concessions are a joke. Just an awful, antiquated dump.

    In 2005, I actually snuck in on a game day (right underneath a sign reading ‘Terrorist Alert: Orange!’). I told two Mexicans in yellow security jackets I was told to buy my game tickets inside, they looked confused, didn’t speak much English, and I walked on in. They were playing the NY Giants that day. That place is a joke.

  59. kws767 says: Jun 24, 2012 9:43 AM

    teachers unions…gotta love ’em

  60. ufullpj says: Jun 24, 2012 9:56 AM

    Hmmm. I wonder what the County will do with $100 Million per year – from 10 home games – generated from sales tax, parking, income tax allotments, concessions, and the like.

    Maybe the Niners will, without negotiating, change the terms of the revenue split with the county now.

  61. patriots123456 says: Jun 24, 2012 10:47 AM

    They should name it “Break a promise Stadium”!

  62. rayguyreturns says: Jun 24, 2012 11:11 AM

    Tomorrow’s headline:

    “49ers beg Raiders for shared Oakland Coliseum”

  63. dstep24 says: Jun 24, 2012 11:12 AM

    If I had to watch another year of Alex Smith, I’d yank my money too.

  64. realitypolice says: Jun 24, 2012 11:23 AM

    southridge23 says:
    Jun 24, 2012 6:14 AM
    49ers: I want you to pay for my house so I can make a gillion dollars and have it all to myself.
    San Fran: I’m not paying for that!
    49ers: well then I am suing you!

    ….god bless America

    It’s amazing that any human being with a brain could read that article and get that from it.

    1) It has nothing to do with San Francisco. It’s Santa Clara County.

    2) It’s not like the 49ers went to the county, asked for the money and the county said no so now they’re suing them. The 49ers went to the County, asked for the money, the county said YES, signed an agreement saying they could have the money, and then just unilaterally said they wouldn’t give them the money.

    Please try and read more closely.

  65. squared80 says: Jun 24, 2012 11:24 AM

    While they’re at it, they should give millionaires and billionaires more tax breaks.

  66. drew44 says: Jun 24, 2012 12:17 PM

    Glad you left the CITY of SF to go and deal with small town Santa Clara. Are the 49ers still letting SC operate it and collect the revenue?

  67. steviaquinn says: Jun 24, 2012 10:56 PM

    The unions have way more money than any football team and will steal money wherever they want, especially in California where they have bought and paid for every politician.

  68. tomsd1 says: Jun 25, 2012 12:04 AM

    It ain’t just California where the Unions have bought and paid for/elected politicians.

    Hopefully however – Wisconsin will set a good example for the other states. 🙂

  69. goldrush94 says: Jun 25, 2012 4:07 AM

    That money going to teachers is just as likely as Al Davis coming back from the grave, buying the 49ers and moving them down to LA.. Then back to Candlestick park twelve years later.

    Way to bite the hand that’s going to feed you for decades to come!

  70. thepasswordis12345 says: Jun 25, 2012 4:50 AM

    Just name it Goldman Sachs Stadium, and any funding shortfall by the county is solved.

  71. irishdawg42 says: Jun 25, 2012 10:00 AM

    “”jimbo75025 says: Jun 23, 2012 11:59 PM

    Spending tax money on schools and other government needs instead of a football stadium? How dare they?””


    It isn’t the fact they are spending the money on schools. The issue is that money was committed to this project to have the stadium built in the county, which in turn will garner more money from people coming into the county for a)jobs b)more kids in the school system means more federal monies c) more sales tax to go towards schools…

    $30,000,000 was a drop in the bucket compared to the money they will see over the next 25 years for that stadium being built in their county…

    I know the Browns spend MILLIONS per year on school programs in and around Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. That is money they might decide could go elsewhere, like little TVs in the back of seats and let the county fend for itself, since this money isn’t part of any contract obligation…

    Business advisers for Santa Clara County might want to think twice about their recommendation
    if they really have the county’s best interest at heart.

  72. jimbo75025 says: Jun 30, 2012 4:01 AM


    I did not say that yanking the money was not shady, just that public money should not have been promised in the first place for a venue for a private enterprise.

    In terms of added jobs, etc two ways to think about. One there will be decent paying construction jobs while the stadium is being built, but how long will that last, 2 years? Once done, the contractors will move on to the next project which will most likely be outside Santa Clara. Two, once completed, most of the jobs at the stadium will be ushers, concessions, etc-in other words pretty low paying jobs. Santa Clara is actually very affluent so I highly doubt some guy making $10/hr for 8-10 games a year plus a few concerts, etc could even afford to live there in the first place.

  73. irishdawg42 says: Jun 30, 2012 9:24 AM


    Take a look at business development in downtown Santa Clara right now…

    Here is my guarantee to you: Within 6 months of stadium completion, there will be no less than 2,000 jobs created out of this one single deal.

    Joe Montana is building a 4 star hotel complex right across the street with year round entertainment. That project alone will employ upwards of 1,000 jobs as long as the 49ers continue to play in this new stadium.

    It isn’t JUST about the stadium positions, which I agree are lower paying jobs that many use as supplemental income…which for the common man needs in today’s economy.

    Every cent earned by these $10.00 an hour employees also contributes(my guess around 3%) towards the community and schools included. At least that is the percentage here in Ohio. Those 2,000 $10 an hour jobs send about $600 per hour to community needs or roughly $1.2M per year.

    That is ONLY the $10 dollar an hour jobs you mentioned. There will also be property, self employment opportunities, and high income jobs created that will make this $1.2M look like a drop in a bucket.

    The big picture was taken into account when the money was promised, once it was at the stage of no return, THEN they pulled the plug knowing they would continue to reap the benefits for the next 1/4 century.

    That is my point, $30M investment in something that will return 5 times that amount over the years was a great investment for the county and now, their will most likely be some repercussions for their actions which will lose them parts of that money for future interests…most likely more than the $30M still owed to the 49ers organization.

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