SANTA CLARA — Within the newest salvo within the acrimonious relationship between the San Francisco 49ers and Santa Clara, town says it should revoke the soccer workforce’sauthority to problem contracts involving Levi’s Stadium’s operations and is threatening to chop the workforce’s administration price consequently.
Santa Clara’s actions stem from a dispute that arose when the workforce spent greater than $600,000 to refinish the stadium’s flooring with out first acquiring metropolis approval. Town additionally says the workforce didn’t comply with state prevailing wage legislation and will have paid staff lower than required.
“I believe what we’ve got is an even bigger problem. And the larger problem is their administration capacity,” Mayor Lisa Gillmor mentioned in an announcement. “We’re simply discovering when it comes to getting the small print that they don’t have the expertise to handle the stadium.”
Levi’s Stadium is owned and overseen by the Stadium Authority, a separate entity of town, however the 49ers have a contract to handle the stadium’s day-to-day operation and occasions on town’s behalf, equivalent to live shows and non-NFL sports activities video games.
The 2 events have feuded over plenty of points because the stadium’s opening in 2014, together with lease will increase, a curfew for weeknight live shows and stadium income. The 49ers have two present lawsuits towards the Stadium Authority, and town just lately accused the workforce of offering inconsistent and incomplete finances data. The workforce says its has supplied monetary paperwork to town commonly, that are audited by an outdoor agency.
Requested whether or not Santa Clara could search for a brand new stadium supervisor, Gillmor mentioned “not at this level,” noting town is targeted on the rapid problem of constructing certain the workforce is complying with state wage legal guidelines.
“It’s our curiosity that the stadium be run professionally for the taxpayers of our group and we don’t really feel that’s occurring proper now,” Gillmor mentioned in a cellphone name.
A spokesman for the 49ers, Rahul Chandhok, mentioned town’s motion quantities to extra political posturing.
“It’s difficult to grasp Mayor Gillmor’s finger-pointing when the paperwork used to acquire companies on the stadium had been created and accredited by her workers,” Chandhok mentioned. “Whereas the mayor’s political technique is clear, it stays disappointing and drained. This isn’t her first risk, and I think about not her final.
Final yr, stadium supervisor Jim Mercurio employed a contractor to shine the stadium flooring, which ended up costing $643,568, working afoul of guidelines requiring town to be notified of any expenditures that might exceed $100,000 and to approve any contracts of greater than $250,000, in accordance with town. Town discovered in regards to the contract late final yr when stadium administration despatched it invoices for the ground work.
Chandhok declined to reply questions on why the stadium supervisor overspent on the ground sprucing contract.
Town halted the work — which nonetheless hasn’t been accomplished — and the workforce says it should eat the price of the ground work achieved to this point, fairly than invoice town.
In letters to the 49ers, town additionally raised considerations that staff for the ground sprucing job weren’t paid in accordance with state prevailing wage legislation. The legislation mandates that staff on sure contracted public works initiatives be paid a sure price primarily based on what most staff are paid for such jobs.
It’s unclear what sort of wage violations occurred, and a metropolis spokeswoman mentioned town doesn’t know the way a lot these staff had been paid. Metropolis lawyer Brian Doyle additionally mentioned it’s unclear whether or not the stadium has underpaid different staff up to now.
Town has since requested an audit of all contracts and spending by the stadium supervisor, which is being reviewed by a 3rd get together employed by the 49ers.
“The flooring contract dropped at our consideration the truth that that they had no concept what they’re doing. So we realized, oh my god, there’s in all probability 5 years’ of labor the place that they had no concept what they wanted to do,” Doyle mentioned.
Chandhok mentioned the workforce has employed a 3rd get together to “assessment all previous work to confirm contractors’ compliance with prevailing wage necessities and proper any points.”
Town has mentioned the workforce’s resolution — paying for the ground sprucing and providing staff again pay — would simply be a work-around to keep away from state wage legal guidelines, not an actual resolution.
At a gathering of town’s Stadium Authority on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to start the method of revoking the workforce’s capacity to problem contracts, that means future contract bids might be dealt with and reviewed by town.
The board additionally requested town lawyer to look into whether or not it could possibly lower the workforce’s $400,000 annual administration price because of having decreased obligations.
Requested whether or not the workforce is contemplating additional authorized motion if the administration price is lower, Chandhok mentioned, “cooperative enterprise companions ought to be capable to clear up these points collectively.”
Contact Thy Vo at 408-200-1055 or [email protected]