The Santa Clara Stadium Taxpayer Protection and Economic Progress Act

The San Francisco 49ers, through their front group Santa Clarans for Economic Progress, are sponsoring a ballot initiative which will give a yes/no vote on whether the city should subsidize a 49er stadium project in the 95054 zip code near Great America. This ballot initiative has now replaced the ballot measure that was going to be placed on the June ballot by the City of Santa Clara. The emergence of this initiative caused the Santa Clara Stadium Five to immediately cancel their ballot measure in favor of this initiative. There are two reasons the San Francisco 49ers and the city council prefer an initiative over a ballot measure. One is that an ballot initiative can be written in a more subjective way, it can be an advocacy piece. A ballot initiative can gloss over or ignore the negatives and greatly exaggerate the positives.

The second reason being that a ballot initiative prevents lawsuits based on negative environmental impacts (the stadium will be built within blocks of residential neighborhoods). In addition to nearby neighborhoods, putting a 68,500 seat 14 acre stadium on a 17 acre lot with no nearby parking is going to cause some terrible traffic jams. So it is likely that there could have been lawsuits by those negatively impacted by the traffic, noise and litter. An initiative shuts those lawsuits down.