Monday, March 24, 2014

The Niners stiff soccer kids

From the San Jose Mercury News:

After the San Francisco 49ers rallied support for their new stadium by promising to pay for new youth soccer fields, the NFL team isn't following through with its part of the deal---and taxpayers will be left footing the multimillion dollar bill.

The unlikely turf war between the Niners and Santa Clara's youth soccer parents has been quickly buzzing around the normally quiet city and centers on the 49ers' new $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium and the city's adjacent state-of-the-art Youth Soccer Park....

"You feel betrayed or lied to," said Matt Heintz, president of the 1,500-member Santa Clara Youth Soccer League, which had supported the new stadium that voters approved public financing for in 2010. "It sounds like they got what they wanted, they got the stadium built---and pushed us aside, brushed us under the rug"...

The 49ers wrote back to the soccer group Friday, saying they supported the city's new effort to find replacement fields and reiterated their longtime promise that soccer leagues would be able to use the fields on game days if they could stomach the traffic. They requested to use the soccer park for parking 20 days a year, which includes 49ers games and other big events...

The soccer league, which is made up of mostly Santa Clara residents, says taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the team's broken promise. The money for the initial $2 million study will come from city land sale revenues, and it's not yet known how the actual construction will be funded, or how much it will cost...

Thanks to Field of Schemes for the link.

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At 7:58 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Public financing of stadiums is a major no-no. You must expect the pro sports team to act as a business. If they can do anything to reduce their liability, they will, without any moral compunction whatsoever. Look at what happened in Florida with the Marlins' new stadium. After they got the public financing and got their stadium built, the team president said

"We don't care if nobody comes," he said. "We'll play in front of nobody, and we'll have all the money."


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