49ers pay past due Levi’s Stadium rent, city of Santa Clara says

The San Francisco 49ers have paid more than $5 million in Levi’s Stadium rent that the city of Santa Clara claimed that the team owed, city officials said Tuesday.

The city’s stadium authority received $5,502,333 from the team for what the city said was overdue September rent and October rent that was due.

The city’s stadium authority board — comprised of Mayor Lisa Gillmor and the City Council — unanimously approved filing an arbitration claim last week to recover the lost money from the team.

The 49ers told the city they were not paying 20% of this season’s bill because the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of two exhibition games at Levi’s Stadium, City Attorney Brian Doyle said.

“I am pleased that the Stadium Authority’s decisive action resulted in the 49ers paying rent for their use of Levi’s Stadium and not putting these costs on taxpayers,” Gillmor said Tuesday in a news release. “In the future, I hope the Stadium Authority Board can avoid having to take such action in order for the 49ers to follow the stadium’s lease provisions.”

The 49ers said last week that they would pay the rent.

“Mr. Doyle is, again, misrepresenting the facts in service of the City’s ongoing political agenda,” Rahul Chandhok, the 49ers’ vice president of public affairs and strategic communications, wrote in an email to this publication. “The September rent payment will be paid in full, in accordance with the terms of the Lease.

“While the 49ers work to support the region’s economy, Mayor Gillmor continues a pattern of mismanagement that is costing the city critical revenue, hurting small businesses, and endangering local jobs. This is just another attempt to scapegoat the 49ers for her incompetence, and her confusion on the terms of the Lease that she supported enthusiastically when it suited her political aspirations.

“Mayor Gillmor is spending millions on PR consultants, advisors, and providing raises, during a global pandemic, to the already highest paid City Manager in the state, all while knowing the city’s budget is in disarray and has been for years. Instead of scapegoating the 49ers, it is time for the Mayor to look inward.”

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