By Robert Haugh
The 0-8 49ers are having trouble winning football games this year. Unfortunately, they’re no better at following Santa Clara’s law when it comes to the weekday stadium curfew for non-NFL events. For that this year, they’re 0-2. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that new City Manager Deanna Santana takes the issue way more seriously than either of her two predecessors Julio Fuentes or Rajeev Batra.
We requested information from the City on how much the 49ers through ManCo, their stadium management company, were fined for violating the curfew with the Coldplay concert on October 4, 2017.
Community Relations Manager Jennifer Yamaguma sent us the official letter from the City dated October 19.
Wow. If you read the letter, it’s clear that the 49ers will be held accountable for their actions — or inactions.
Santana’s cites four different code violations, not just the curfew violation. So instead of a simple and meaningless $750 fine that was imposed by Batra on the 49ers after the U2 concert violated the curfew in May, the City has increased the fine to $1,900. Okay, that’s not much. But there’s more.
Santana has also added up City staff time to deal with this issue and it comes to $2,755. That’s not much either, especially for a team that’s going to pay $30 million to $70 million to fired ex-coaches between now and 2019. (That’s right. That’s for coaches who will NOT be coaching the team). But it’s a clear signal that the City is taking the violations more seriously.
This letter may be a surprise to Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta and Councilwoman Patty Mahan who both argued at a recent council meeting that technically the 49ers were not breaking the law. That is until Interim City Attorney Brian Doyle said, uh, yes they are.
Now, here’s the bombshell in the letter: Santana warns ManCo that they have not just violated the law, but the stadium management agreement, too.
“Therefore, this notice serves to advise ManCo with the requirements of Article 11 of the Agreement and that ManCo has violated the law and Section 10.6 of the Agreement.”
That’s a really big deal. That’s like a Tombstone piledriver from The Undertaker. If the City can use the team’s law breaking to take away the management agreement and hire another operator, the team loses revenue from non-NFL events, like concerts, a major source of income for them.
This could be a major problem — unless Jed York gets better at hiring coaches.