SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — While Santa Clara officials declared victory in a stadium rent dispute with the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, the NFL team fired back claiming Santa Clara’s mayor was practicing ‘fuzzy math.’

The city has claimed for nearly two years that the NFL team should be paying more in rent for Levi’s Stadium while the team wanted a rent reduction.

An arbitrator ruled in the city’s favor Friday, determining that the 49ers should pay nearly $300,000 more in rent annually on its 40-year lease.

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, who has engaged in an escalating war of words with the team, heralded the decision.

“The arbitration award is a major victory for the citizens of Santa Clara,” she told KPIX 5. “It shows we are managing the 49ers and not being managed by them.”

But the team called the mayor’s evaluation of the ruling as ‘fuzzy math.’

“It’s exactly this deceptive approach, her lack of transparency, and fuzzy math that make Mayor Gillmor difficult to trust,” said Vice President of Public Affairs Rahul Chandhok in an email to KPIX 5.

“Today’s statement from the Mayor also includes a basic math error,” he continued. “The Mayor stated our annual rent is increasing by $238,000 annually. That is incorrect, the annual increase is $262,000. We would hope the Mayor and her personal PR consultant, Sam Singer would have been more careful while being paid with taxpayer dollars.”

The city said the decision will allow it to maintain its accelerated pace of paying down the stadium’s debt. The Stadium Authority also will receive back pay for rental payments owed and attorneys’ fees and costs.

“With the success of the City Council (acting as the Stadium Authority) and the new city administration, there is a new balance of power that puts the taxpayers and their representatives in charge,” Gillmor said in the release.

“Unfortunately, the 49ers have a record of withholding documents and payments from the Stadium Authority. … On behalf of the Stadium Authority board, we will work to ensure timely payments of these public funds owed to the Stadium Authority and continue to hold the 49ers accountable tothe public and Stadium Authority for issues important to Santa Clara.”

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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