Santa Clara wants a divorce from the 49ers.
Not from hosting 49ers games, but from hosting other events at the stadium in which the 49ers play.
Via NBC Bay Area, Santa Clara city council voted unanimously to terminate the agreement with the team as to concerts and other non-football activities at Levi’s Stadium. Santa Clara contends that the 49ers have “grossly mismanaged” those operations.
“We have hit rock bottom and we have nothing to lose,” city attorney Brian Doyle said, via the San Jose Mercury News. (It’s not often that the titles of two KISS songs end up in an 11-word quote.)
The 49ers fired back, predictably, in a statement issued by the team.
“After City Manager [Deanna] Santana’s dysfunction with respect to stadium events was exposed, she has chosen to spiral even further,” the team said. “Her actions are purely retaliatory, and we are not surprised that she has commenced yet another legal battle. She is abdicating her fiduciary duty by destroying a city asset for petty, political vendettas.”
The relationship between the city and the team reached critical mass in the wake of last month’s Rolling Stones concert, which prompted multiple complaints from the band’s tour managers regarding micromanagement of the show. The venue also has hosted acts like U2 (pictured) in 2019.
The 49ers have 35 years left on their lease at the Santa Clara venue, which opened five years ago. Although one or both sides may prefer a complete and total end to their relationship, it would be ridiculously expensive and impractical for the 49ers to find a new home, and for Levi’s Stadium to be unoccupied during football season.