City of Elk Grove Gave $10,000 Grant for Recent Soccer Tournament

August 13, 2013 | According to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request, the City of Elk Grove paid the Women's Premi...

August 13, 2013 |

According to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request, the City of Elk Grove paid the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) $10,000 for its sponsorship of a recent championship tournament held at the Elk Grove High School football stadium.

The request for the funds was signed by WPSL President Jerry Zanelli on July 16 and received via fax at the city on July 22. The regional and championship tournaments were held on July 20 and 21 and on July 27 and 28 respectively according to the documents.

Asked to described how the sponsorship would benefit Elk Grove, the application states "it will attract people throughout the U.S. and in the west to be aware of Elk Grove and start laying the groundwork for women's soccer to be played at the highest level."

At the time of the information request, EGN also emailed Elk Grove Economic Development Director Randy Starbuck offering him an opportunity to comment on any economic benefit the city might receive as a result of sponsoring the tournaments.  No response as of this afternoon has been received.

The application also classifies the event as a fundraiser and all revenue will go to "assist [your] the nonprofit association."

See the documents below. Click on each image to enlarge.

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Muppet said...

Nice investigative reporting Dan. From what I read, only 400 people showed up for the event--as opposed to 4,500 for the MSL exhibition in Sacto. The recipient of the grant, signed by Jerry Zanelli has history (just like Fabian Nunez!):

"Jerry Zanelli joined Governmental Advocates, Inc. in 1983, rapidly earning a reputation for making things happen. Mr. Zanelli has spent over thirty years working in politics and government and has extensive experience with legislative issues, political and governmental processes, and policy-makers throughout California.

Mr. Zanelli began his public sector work as an Administrative Assistant in the California Legislature in 1966, before going on to become Staff Director of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Following his early public sector work, Mr. Zanelli founded a highly successful and respected political public relations and lobbying firm in Los Angeles. In this capacity, Mr. Zanelli designed political campaigns for twenty-two state officeholders, successfully lobbied local agencies and government bodies on a variety of issues, and organized governmental affairs programs for many Southern California businesses and several major statewide associations".


Thomas A. Anderson said...

Thank you Muppet for the information on Zanelli. Haven't heard his name before, but one must think Mayor Davis has had some dealings with him along with Former Speaker Nunez.

It is worth noting that Mayor Davis' intern was the planner for this event.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the expenditure was authorized? Was it approved by council in the consent calendar or is it under some authorized dollar value that the City Manager can approve? Maybe I'm getting old but I don't remember this coming up at council.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If the city sponsored this event, shouldn't the city have advertised it more? Our family is big on soccer and we did not hear about this until after the event. I attended the council meeting held right before this event and not a word was mentioned. This is very poor planning on someone's part. We use 10,000 of taxpayers money but don't utilize the city's ability to advertise. Tournaments such as these are planned months in advance by soccer groups yet no advertisment by the city of their sponsorship? How will 4,500 fans be notified of it's time, date, location? If this is how Ms Rodriquez runs her business, she will be OUT oF BUSINESS sooner than later. Events without spectators equals a flop every single time. This was not a good use of tax dollars.

Paul Harvey said...

Teresa Rodriguez was not the event planner for this event. She volunteered her time, along with other community-minded citizens, to run the snack bar to help out. That was it.

Anonymous said...

Per the documents attached, bottom of page3, the organization that filled out the form clearly states "We have hired Theresa Rodriguez to do all event planning." So either this organization falsified this legal document in order to obtain sponsorship money under false terms or the poster above is incorrect.

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