SBD/Issue 179/Facilities & Venues

49ers Have Spent More Than $3.6M On Santa Clara Stadium Campaign

49ers' Santa Clara Stadium Campaign Could Be
Biggest For Local Election In Silicon Valley History

The 49ers appear to be "on the verge of taking a title in the political arena -- biggest campaign spenders in Silicon Valley history for a local election," according to a front-page piece by Howard Mintz of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Campaign finance reports filed Thursday indicated that ahead of the June 8 Santa Clara vote on the proposed 49ers stadium, the team-backed campaign behind Measure J has already spent $3.6M, and 49ers President & CEO Jed York "has cut the bulk of the checks to fund that campaign." The amount is "180 times more than stadium opponents have spent to fight Measure J." The 49ers' spending has gone "primarily to pay for television and radio spots in recent months," and with "no more than about 25,000 Santa Clara residents likely to vote in the special election, the spending amounts to about $150 per voter." 49ers VP/Communications Lisa Lang: "TV and radio are expensive, but the team agreed to step up and write the checks as requested." Mintz notes while the 49ers' campaign has spent more than $2M on TV and radio ads, Santa Clara Plays Fair, an opposing group, "has had to resort to YouTube to broadcast its messages against the stadium." Stadium supporters "appear poised to surpass the amounts spent on three other major political campaigns to build pro sports facilities in the Bay Area, including the 1988 vote in San Jose to approve an arena for the Sharks and the unsuccessful 1990 vote in five Santa Clara County communities to back a ballpark" for the MLB Giants. Those campaigns "raised less than half of what the 49ers are spending to win the hearts of Santa Clarans" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/28).

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