Stadium Authority Gives 49ers “Notice of Default” for Violating State Wage Laws

By Robert Haugh

The Stadium Authority found out that the 49ers/ManCo had violated state prevailing wage laws. The team got a “breach of contract” warning from the Stadium Authority on March 28, 2019.  

They were supposed to “cure” the problem in 30 days. They didn’t.

So last night, Stadium Authority Attorney Brian Doyle told the Board that he issued a “Notice of Default” on April 24, 2019. Then the Board asked the staff to bring back a resolution taking away the 49ers/ManCo’s procurement authority. That means they won’t be trusted to bid and sign procurement contracts at the stadium. Wow.

The Board also instructed the staff to figure out how to pay for the extra costs and time to deal with procurement and take it out of the 49ers/ManCo management fee. The staff was also directed to report the violations to the state. Double wow.

The vote was 7-0. 49ers supporter Board member Patty Mahan supported the motion and didn’t say anything all night.

Free Taylor Swift tickets, Field Seats

The 49ers continued their stonewalling on the issue of free Taylor Swift tickets and whether or not they owe the City money for field seats they installed last year. There were lots of times Board members said they were frustrated that the team has been withholding info and documents for years.

There were a lot of powerful statements last night. Here are some highlights:

  • Board chair Mayor Lisa Gillmor: “I think what we have is a bigger issue. And the bigger issue is their (49ers) management ability … We are just finding in terms of getting the details that they do not have the experience to manage the stadium.“ YouTube 1:14:28

  • Doyle: “This is not some paperwork problem. This is a wholesale failure to perform the duties of the executive director with regard to procurement at the stadium for five consecutive years. It is not the result of some personal idea in my head. It is the result of my first learning about this approximately 30 something days ago when the stadium authority manager (Jim Mercurio) admitted to the executive director that he thought paying prevailing wages meant or complying with prevailing wage law meant not going to Home Depot parking lot and picking people up.”  1:20:28

  • Doyle: “I’d just like to remind the Board as well as the public that we intend to seek to recover all of our cost with respect to this. Clearly, the contract requires them to pay all of their cost as a result of their breach. I don’t know what argument they would have to not do that.  But they are very recalcitrant type people and they tend to not want to hand over money. And they certainly don’t want to ever admit they made a mistake.” YouTube 1:51:02

Mercurio Conflict of Interest

Board member Debi Davis mentioned our story yesterday about Stadium Manager Mercurio have stock in VenueNext, a technology vendor at the stadium. It looks like a conflict of interest.

After our story, Mercurio responded to City Manager Deanna Santana with a confusing response. The City staff and others are going to investigate this.

(Note to Davis: Thanks for the reference. It doesn’t mean you’ll win this week’s Leg Drop Award. But it doesn’t hurt.)


  1. At one of the council meetings almost two years ago when they 40whiners were pushing for more weeknight concerts I pushed to have ManCo fired for breech of contract. Not the first or last time I suggested this but certainly am glad to see this coming closer to fruition.
    Having them bounced for labor law violation is like nabbing Al Capone on taxes. A bitter sweet victory, but just get rid of them.

  2. As an innocent by stander I’m amazed how much Santa Clara Plays Fair predicted these issues but the city staff and council at that time knew more than a few citizens. They bullied and badgered residents into believing this was going to be a great deal for us ‘little people’ who live in the city and that we were ignorant. Yeh those days are over and now we have a potential economic nightmare managed by the fox in the hen house. This is not going to end well. I say we fill in that toilet bowl and return in to the PD training parking lot.

  3. Forty Whinners

    It’s amazing how incompetent the 49ers “Manco” have been for the past 5 years. Instead they been disrespectful to our Mayor, council, city staff and our citizens. The voters of Santa Clara were the only city willing to give to them the opportunity to have a place to play there games and a place to call home. This was to be the start of a great partnership, instead it turns out to be a great nightmare for the city. So far the 49ers have turned out to be losers on and off the field. Their action speak for themselves. Its time we turn over the stadium management over to a business partner that’s respectful, honest, ethical and transparent. It’s time to show these clowns to the door. Hopefully we can remove Manco from managing our asset.

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