The city of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority reached a settlement agreement with the San Francisco 49ers companies that manage Levi’s Stadium Wednesday afternoon, affirming the team as managers of the city-owned facility.
The settlement, which ends five years of legal battles between the city and the National Football League team over management of the stadium, requires the Forty Niners SC Stadium Company and its stadium management firm to pay the city $1,675,000.
The 49ers stadium management also agreed in the settlement to transfer $650,000 from the stadium’s discretionary fund to the city’s general fund, as well as an additional $650,000 from the stadium authority’s discretionary fund to the authority’s operating fund. The 49ers will also waive $350,000 in accrued interest and pay the city $2 million for public safety costs.
In return, the city dropped its proposed termination of the 49ers contract to manage the stadium, which is a venue for concerts as well as professional football.
The announcement came one day after a closed-door executive session of the Santa Clara City Council produced a “no reportable action” statement by the city attorney.
The settlement followed a week in which the 49ers sweetened a settlement offer, and in the midst of a re-election campaign by Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, who is being challenged by Councilmember Anthony Becker. Gillmor had opposed settlement of the 49ers lawsuits, a move supported by Becker and a council majority.
The settlement agreement “represents the beginning of a renewed partnership between the 49ers and the City of Santa Clara,” said 49ers spokesman Rahul Chandhok. “We’re pleased to put this fight behind us for the benefit of Santa Clara’s residents and the stakeholders who rely on Levi’s Stadium for jobs, revenue, and entertainment.”
The agreement reinstates the city stadium authority’s ability to sign contracts under $100,000.
The city agreed that it will defer to the 49ers any claims by any party that workers were not paid prevailing state wages, and the 49ers will assume any liabilities from those claims. The city and stadium authority had accused the 49ers of “wage theft” in previous court filings and public statements. The stadium authority agreed that it will work with the 49ers stadium management to defend it against any wage claims.
In the settlement, the 49ers agreed to comply with all applicable conflict of interest laws.
The 49ers agreed that “when booking, selecting, and negotiating contracts for non-NFL events, it shall maximize stadium revenues, and focus on and emphasize [stadium authority] revenues, and: it shall not prioritize …net revenues from that event over [stadium authority) net revenues.”
The settlement agreement dismisses 2017 and 2019 lawsuits in Santa Clara Superior Court as well as the current arbitration proceedings, with each side agreeing to bear its own court costs and legal fees.
And, as part of the agreement, both sides “continue to deny all liability, fault or responsibility for the matters being settled by this agreement.”
The agreement was signed by:
Peter Wilhelm, chief financial officer, Forty Niners SC Stadium Company LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, also as chief financial officer, Forty Niners Stadium Management Company, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, and by Rajeev Batra, city manager and executive director, Santa Clara Stadium Authority.
The attached form was approved by:
Charmaine Yu, Coblenz Patch Duffy and Bass, LLP, San Francisco, attorney for the Forty Niners SC Stadium Company, LLC and Forty Niners SC Stadium Management Company LLC, and by Mohammad Walizadeh, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, attorney for City of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, and James Sanchez, city attorney and interim counsel for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.