49ers, Santa Clara Leaders Warring Over Allegedly Unpaid Levi's Stadium Rent

Santa Clara leaders and the San Francisco 49ers are warring over allegedly unpaid rent for the use of Levi's Stadium.

Every month, the football team is required to pay Santa Clara $2 million rent for the rights to play in the recently-built stadium. But Vice Mayor Teresa O’Neill says the city has yet to receive any payments this year.

"To the best of my knowledge, payments stopped coming in for rent after the end of December, and we have not received any payments for January, February and March," O’Neill said to NBC Bay Area.

Per contract, the team is expected to finish paying off $24.5 million by the end of this month.

Bob Lange, the vice president of communications for the football team, denied O’Neill’s claim that rent the team has not paid rent. However, he admitted that 49ers leadership is asking for reduced rent.

The team wants to see the rent lowered from $24.5 million a year to just over $20 million.

According to the lease agreement with the city, the contract provides the team a one-time rent reset, which the football team is now trying to use.

The reset would allow the 49ers to adjust the rent based on changes in revenue, updated development costs and expenses.

"The most recent facility rent payment made by the 49ers was on March 16, 2016. The full $24.5 million will be paid by the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2016.

He continued: "Even after the adjustment, the 49ers will pay rent that is more than two times higher than the next highest rent paid by any of the other 31 NFL teams."

In response, O’Neill said she’s not convinced the city should accept lower rent payments.

"We want a more complete picture of the expenses for the stadium," she said. "That’s why we are pursuing an audit for expenses after November of last year." 

As of Saturday evening, it remains unclear where the discrepancy lies. 

Check back for updates.

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