Santa Clara officials are moving to terminate the San Francisco 49ers‘ management of Levi’s Stadium events, but the organization says it will fight that effort.
Levi’s Stadium is owned by Santa Clara through its Stadium Authority, with the 49ers managing the venue on a year-round basis. As part of that agreement, the booking and promotion of non-NFL events such as concerts are among the 49ers’ responsibilities, but city officials are looking to strip the organization of its non-NFL event management responsibilities.
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara City Council voted 6-0 (with one member absent) to launch legal proceedings to terminate the management agreement. The city spelled out its grievances in a letter to 49ers Stadium Management Company president Al Guido, alleging fraud as well as noncompliance with state wage and conflicts-of-interest laws. Tuesday’s vote was followed by a press conference on Wednesday in which Santa Clara mayor Lisa Gillmor emphasized the city’s dissatisfaction with the 49ers’ management, but the 49ers plan to rebuff any effort to terminate the deal. More from The Mercury News:
The team committed fraud by overstating its experience in managing public facilities and misrepresenting its spending practices, the letter suggests.
“The 49ers have shown us they do not have the experience and expertise to operate a public facility like our stadium. And they have not managed it in the best interest of Santa Clara residents and taxpayers,” Mayor Lisa Gillmor said at a press conference Wednesday. “It’s clear the 49ers’ performance off the field is terrible, and we cannot continue to allow them to mismanage the stadium.”
A spokesman for the 49ers said the team would fight any attempt to terminate its stadium management lease.
“The City’s legal case, such as it is, is in direct violation of the clear language of the relevant contracts. We are entirely confident that we will prevail in this dispute,” team spokesman Rahul Chandhok said in a written statement issued after the press conference.
For their part, the 49ers have raised contentions that the city makes non-NFL events difficult to stage because of its restrictive regulations. Some of those concerns were amplified recently, when the 49ers released letters from Rolling Stones’ promoters that criticized the city for micromanagement and creating last-minute hurdles for pulling off an August show at Levi’s Stadium.
Santa Clara officials, meanwhile, contend that the 49ers have booked money-losing events. In addition, concerns have been raised that the organization has not followed local laws on public contracts and the state’s prevailing wage law.
Levi’s Stadium has been home to the 49ers since its 2014 opening.
Image courtesy San Francisco 49ers.