Levi’s Stadium Audit Intensifies Tussle Between Santa Clara and 49ers

SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — A brand new audit is fueling more bad blood between the city of Santa Clara and the 49ers. The city insists the team owes them money.

The city says it is still being kept in the dark. But one year and $200,000 later, the city of Santa Clara still hasn’t found what it’s looking for.

The stadium authority’s long-awaited audit leaves the city in the dark about the costs and the potential profits from big-name concerts at Levi’s Stadium, such as this summer’s U2 performance.

Santa Clara City Council Member Teresa O’Neil said, “We are protecting the public’s trust and best interests. We need to have access to that information like the board of directors of any public company would.”

The audit team identified nearly $115,000 it believes the 49ers owe the city for police and fire services at Levi’s Stadium during the stadium’s first few years in operation.

But the auditors failed to get a closer look at so-called non-NFL events, big concerts like Beyonce’s, because the 49ers wouldn’t allow the auditors to “review and report on their records… without signing a non-disclosure agreement.”

The auditors refused.

O’Neil said, “I want this relationship to work. I want to get it right. But we need the information.”

Santa Clara Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta said, “We’re being contentious and litigious. And it needs to stop.”

The 49ers say the release of sensitive financial information would undermine their ability to negotiate effectively with concert promoters.

They describe the report as “riddled with errors” adding “in the end, they wasted over $200k in public funds to discover that the city of Santa Clara failed to bill $115k in expenses – something which was their responsibility.”

The final audit is generating more heat than light on the often-acrimonious relationship between city leaders and the 49ers.

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