Santa Clara won’t pay for Super Bowl 50, but San Francisco will

By sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s taxpayers will foot the bill to host a weeklong celebration leading up to Super Bowl 50, but Santa Clara’s costs are fully covered, according to a budget analyst report released Friday.

Read the full report here.

debate has been ongoing among city officials over whether San Francisco should be covering the costs associated with hosting a weeklong event leading up to Super Bowl 50.

As late as last month, members of the Board of Supervisors even had difficulty obtaining the costs from department heads. Last week, Mayor Ed Lee’s office provided a memo totaling costs to city departments at $4 million. His office defended the expense, stating revenues from the event would more than offset the cost and The City has covered such expenses for other large events in past.

Since the memo, however, cost estimates have continued to climb. On Monday, the cost to Muni increased from $1.7 million to $2.3 million.

And Friday, a new report released by Budget Analyst Harvey Rose, at the request of Supervisor John Avalos, estimates the total cost at $4.8 million.

The report also says that Santa Clara, the city hosting the actual Super Bowl, has reached an agreement with the host committee to cover similar costs to city services. The finding bolsters the position held by some supervisors, like Avalos, that San Francisco should have negotiated a similar arrangement.

“According to the assistant city manager, the city of Santa Clara has reached an agreement with the Host Committee to reimburse all city expenses associated with hosting Super Bowl 50, including public safety services, fire, and emergency medical services,” the report stated. “The reimbursement from the Host Committee to Santa Clara is expected to be $3,597,300 to cover all additional public safety and other government services.”

But those defending The City’s cost also said that in their bid to host the event, it was stipulated the city services would be covered…

Rose recommended that “the Board of Supervisors request the Mayor to immediately enter into a formal agreement, subject to Board of Supervisors approval, with the Host Committee that provides for full reimbursement of the City’s estimated General Fund expenditures of $4,881,625, as the City of Santa Clara has done.”…

Supervisor Jane Kim is among the most outspoken critics of use of public dollars for Super Bowl 50. “I’ve said it from the beginning and this report confirms my fears: taxpayers are being sacked to pay for a party for billionaires and special interests. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar corporation and can pay for its own marketing and should absolutely reimburse San Franciscans for every single cent,” Kim said in a statement… (more)



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