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S.F. Welcomed Super Bowl on Handshake Deal; No Contract, No Public Review

January 31, 2016

By : sfweekly – excerpt

Much has been made of how San Francisco agreed to host the Super Bowl 50 festivities without billing the National Football League or the Super Bowl Host Committee for the $5.3 million in city services required to handle the lengthy party and attendant crowds.

But in addition to agreeing not to charge the NFL, San Francisco officials also welcomed the Super Bowl without any kind of signed contract or agreement at all, according to public records — or, more accurately, according to a lack of public records.

The city Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, which oversees Levi’s Stadium, where the big game is to be played Feb. 7, both signed documents — a “governmental services agreement” as well as a memorandum of understanding — with the Super Bowl Host Committee. These documents state that Santa Clara gets its costs to host the game paid up front — and they also outline legal details like liability.

San Francisco signed no such agreement (as it did to host the America’s Cup in 2012). In other words, the Super Bowl is here on little more than a handshake deal — and as a result, heads in City Hall are spinning.

“It is inconceivable that streets could be closed for a month, Muni buses rerouted, police working overtime, parks closed — all for free, with no signed agreement in place,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin said. “It’s mind-boggling.”…

Terms of the bid, and the terms on which San Francisco would host the events, were never given a public review.

This was done for a competitive advantage. “The bid was designed to compete with other cities, and — since we plan on competing for future Super Bowls — we have no interest in revealing our winning formula to our competitors,” Ballard said…(more)

If Ballard thinks this is a “winning formula” imagine what a loss would look like to him. If we lost the bid San Francisco would have saved millions of dollars and so would the local merchants who are being closed down to “make way” for our guests.

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