SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Fresh off a stinging Super Bowl loss, the San Francisco 49ers are battling again, but this time with its home city.
Santa Clara officials allege fraud and misuse of public funds, prompting city leaders to try and oust the team as manager of Levi’s Stadium.
“The management agreement provides for termination if there is misappropriation, willful misconduct, or misrepresentation or fraud,” said Santa Clara City Attorney Brian Doyle.
In court documents, Doyle said 49ers brass siphoned off more than $800,000 over two years, from money that he believes belongs to taxpayers. The claimed misuse comes from side sponsorship agreements during the Redbox Bowl games played at Levi’s Stadium the past two years. Also, an agreement with KORE Software Holdings to purchase products, despite the fact team president Al Guido was appointed to that company’s board. Guido has since resigned from that board and returned all financial compensation.
“This is very serious. They’re taking our money and making the decision to give it to themselves,” said Doyle. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The team manages both non-NFL events, such as WrestleMania, Monster Truck shows, and concerts. As well as pre-season, regular season, and playoff NFL games.
Monday, the city council voted unanimously to end the team’s management of both non-NFL and NFL events.
In a response email, 49ers Vice President Rahul Chandhok said, “…this vote comes clearly as an act of retaliation after it became public the 49ers (would work) to defeat Measure C.” That measure would condense six council districts into three, which critics claim would lesson minority representation. Chandhok continued the city’s latest move, “…is just another step in a self-destructive process (begun) years ago as part of a petty political vendetta. This latest attempt (will) fail.”
This metaphoric marriage of politics and football is in divorce court. Litigation was initially filed last Fall, and neither side can say when or if this case will go to trial. In the meantime the 49ers continue managing Levi’s, having just booked Justin Bieber to perform.