On Saturday night it was discovered that the city of Santa Clara and the San Francisco 49ers are in a bit of a financial dispute. According to the mayor, Lisa Gillmore, the team has failed to comply with their current contract and the city is losing money as a result. Because of this, an audit of the 49ers and their home field, Levi’s Stadium, was presented to City Council on Thursday evening and the mayor threatened a take over of the stadium shortly afterward.
Initially the 49ers released a very brief statement claiming that the documents would be presented to the auditor on Monday, but on Sunday they had a much more aggressive response.
“The Mayor’s accusations that money is going from the City’s General Fund into the stadium are false and irresponsible,” the 49ers said in a statement provided to Pro Football Talk. “As the Mayor surely knows, since she voted for the agreements, the stadium does not use General Fund money. In fact, funds are flowing into the General Fund from the stadium. The 49ers Stadium Management Company has generated over $5.5 million for the City’s General Fund over the last two years, plus an additional $2 million in fees to the City. On top of that, another $2 million has also gone to the Discretionary Fund.”
As you can see, the 49ers appear ready to fight the mayor’s allegations and this situation is sure to get worse. As one source explained it, the belief is that Gillmore hopes that attacks on the team will prop up her preferred slate of anti-49ers candidates.
“The successful management of Levi’s Stadium by the 49ers Stadium Management Company has allowed the Santa Clara Stadium Authority to reduce its outstanding debt by over $200 million since opening, and fund over $16 million in cash reserves,” the 49ers added in the statement. “Those figures do not even include the significant increase in sales and hotel tax revenues generated by the stadium, hotels and other local businesses that will contribute to the Santa Clara General Fund on an annual basis as a direct result of the ongoing operation of Levi’s Stadium.”