SF 49ers Sue City of Santa Clara in Levi’s Stadium Stalemate

The 49ers are having quite a new year. On the first day of 2017, the club said adios to coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke. A day later, team CEO Jed York practically roasted himself at a news conference by declaring that owners don’t get fired. On Tuesday, the 49ers sued the city of Santa Clara and its mayor, Lisa Gillmor, for breach of contract over Levi’s Stadium. Gillmor has accused the team’s management companies of hiding financial information from the Stadium Authority board, which she chairs. Back in early December, the city had its interim city manager, Rajeev Batra, send the club a notice that it could find itself in default of the stadium management agreement unless it turned over all documents. 49ers General Counsel Hannah Gordon fired back a day later, noting that everything had already been provided in a Nov. 18 meeting at the stadium and also included a 15-day estoppel certificate that demanded the city verify the club was playing by the rules on stadium management or present evidence to the contrary. Batra punted in a Dec. 20 letter, saying he couldn’t sign anything until all docs were presented but would be happy to meet. When Gordon responded in an email with available dates, city officials clammed up and took off for the holidays. Santa Clara appears to be in a tough legal spot, which will only get more difficult considering longtime City Attorney Ren Nosky put in his letter of resignation Dec. 30. He’s often the only person who takes notes in meetings with the 49ers, meaning all record of city-team interactions could soon be lost. Word is Nosky’s moving on to the law firm Berliner Cohen LLP, which specializes in land use and municipal law. The 49ers had no official comment on the lawsuit but it appears the decision to sue was made not by York but 49ers team president Al Guido, who oversees all business decisions. Perhaps that’s why the club’s chances of winning look decidedly better.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. Sounds like da 49er are gonna make’m a offer dey can’t refuse!

    And someone was asking the other day why the rest of the country thinks California is going the wrong way?
    We are run by a bunch of nuts!

  2. Poor Santa Clara.

    They are locked into a long term business arrangement with extremely stupid business people who are associated with the extremely stupid NFL.

    What other sports league begins every game by allowing it’s employees to insult and demean their paying customers and their country.

    This isn’t going to end well.

  3. The City of Santa Clara, 49ers, and the NFL deserve each other. Stupidity breeds Stupidity. All are an embarrassment to the Bay Area. Someone flush the toilet and get rid of this s**t.

  4. The 49ers are not stupid. Jed may be inept at running a football organization. The franchise is a money making machine run by people who are very good at making money. Look at our City Council, a leagle assistant, a civics teacher, 2 retired cops, an event planner, a contract negotiator who are supposed to read & understand the contract between the City & the 49ers. This was not a simple contract to rent a granny unit, it is a billion dollar venue. Both sides have a responsibility to understand what the are signing. It is after all our tax dollars at work. I believe the council is over their heads on the current situation. Did Jamie Mathews and Julio Fuentes contribute to the current state of affairs? I think so. Where the hell is Jamie anyhow?

    • “Where the hell is Jamie anyhow?”

      He was sick and tired of being criticized by ignorant people like you who can do no better than spew hate on their council without ever offering any solutions. And letting the greedy 49ers off the hook is not a solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *