The mayor of Santa Clara is warning the San Francisco 49ers that the city may be forced to try to take over management of Levi’s Stadium, if the team fails to provide documents detailing how they spent taxpayer dollars.
The city doesn't make any money from 49ers games, but it does get a cut when concerts and other events are hosted at the stadium. Based on the findings of an independent audit, however, Mayor Lisa Gillmor is now worried that Santa Clara isn't getting its fair share.
“We have to stop the bleeding of the General Fund money into the stadium,” she said. “It’s against the law.”
According to Gillmor, city leaders are prepared to manage Levi’s Stadium if the 49ers don’t comply with their current contract with Santa Clara.
“If they don’t cure the breach, we are going to take steps to take back management of the stadium,” she said.
The potential contract breach that Gillmor is referring to is detailed in the audit that was presented to the City Council on Thursday night. It says that the 49ers have failed to present budget documents that are mandated in the stadium contract.
Santa Clara leaders say those documents are crucial when determining how taxpayer funds are being spent, and how much money the city should be making from events like a Taylor Swift or Beyonce concert.
“If they are not managing the stadium properly, we will get someone who will,” Gillmor promised.
On Friday, independent auditor Fred Brousseau told NBC Bay Area that it is possible taxpayer funds were used to reseed the field several times.
He said he is also working to determine how much city money has been spent on NFL sanctioned events, which is illegal, per Santa Clara city law.
“That’s one of our audit questions -- to make sure those costs are being properly allocated,” Brousseau said.
The 49ers said in a statement that the requested documents will be presented to the auditor on Monday. Without that budget information, Gillmor said she will be forced to try and take over management of Levi’s Stadium within the next month.