The Santa Clara city council decided to terminate the management deal with 49ers, which means the team theoretically cannot organise any events at Levi's Stadium.
Earlier this week the Santa Clara city council unanimously voted to strip NFL's 49ers of the team's rights to manage Levi's Stadium. This way the city wants to terminate the agreement signed upon the stadium's opening in 2014.
While no single reason for such drastic decision was given, city attorney Brian Doyle argues there are serious irregularities in management of the stadium. “We’re looking at this as a public corruption issue which invalidates their ability to manage a public facility,” Doyle said. “Public assets are being handled by an entity we no longer trust.”
There have been a number of disputes between the city and 49ers over the past 6 yearsand accusations are quite serious, including the discovery that the team may have withheld $800,000 in revenue from the Redbox Bowl. The city argues access to financial records is blocked.
However, the decision to terminate 49ers' competence as manager of the $1.3-billion facility will not come to fruition until a court dispute is settled. Last September the city has unilaterally stripped the NFL team of hosting non-NFL events, a decision the team then challenged in court. Until the case is heard and then resolved, this week's move will not be effective.
In principle the conflict doesn't mean that the 49ers have to move, the goal is to establish an independent operator of the stadium that the city could trust.
Interestingly, 49ers are arguing the case is political. “The 49ers Management Company will continue to manage Levi’s Stadium and attract the most celebrated events in the world to the Bay Area,” said Rahul Chandhok, the 49ers’ vice president of public affairs.
“The city’s latest announcement is just another step in a self-destructive process they began years ago as part of a petty political vendetta. All of those efforts failed, just as this latest attempt will also fail.”
According to the 49ers' version of the story, decision to terminate the management agreement comes as retaliation for the team's political involvement. “We should all be troubled that this vote comes clearly as an act of retaliation after it became public that the 49ers would join civil rights leaders to defeat Measure C,” said Rahul Chandhok.
Measure C, supported by the city, would see Santa Clara redistricted and having three districts instead of six.