City Says No Way to 49ers Who Send $4.4 Million Bill for VIP Buffet Food During NFL Games for Last Six Years

By Robert Haugh

The 49ers want the Stadium Authority to pay for the complimentary buffet that they feed their VIP suite holders during NFL games. Wow.

They sent a bill to the City for $4,388.709. The invoice is for the buffet cost from 2014-2018. Yup, six years ago. Double wow.

No. This is not an April Fool’s joke.

The invoice was sent by Esther Chi, Vice President, Controller. She wants payment in 30 days.

Chi has worked for the 49ers for almost 20 years. So she was there when the bills were supposed to be sent from 2014-18. Maybe she forgot.

But the City is not going to pay. They responded in a letter co-signed by City Attorney Brian Doyle and City Treasurer Kenn Lee.

Doyle and Lee write that these costs were never in any stadium budget. Whoops.

They also argue that there’s no justification for sending a bill for stuff from 4-6 years ago.

Finally, they say they point out that the 49ers keep lousy accounting records. According to our sources who use to work with the team, the 49ers keep different accounts so they don’t share all financial info with the City.

Doyle and Lee deliver one final body slam in their letter.

Given the unexplained pattern of sometimes charging costs and sometimes not, Stadium Manager cannot present these Buffet Costs as due under the Lease. Stadium Authority cannot manage its finances based on concealed contracts and expenses, or based on unknown costs, such as these Buffet Costs, that were never budgeted, submitted or invoiced for years.

Kudos to the City staff for keeping on top of the 49ers financial management — or mismanagement of the stadium. We expect to see more info like this when the stadium management lawsuit goes to trial.


  1. What’s particularly galling is that not one penny of the VIP box revenues goes to our City’s General Fund or to our Stadium Authority.

    ==> Every penny of those luxury suite rent receipts go into Jed York’s pockets.

    Now, we have to _feed_ those people, too?

    Time to face up to it: Except for Green Bay, the NFL is the nearest thing to Russian oligarchs that we Americans have. And Jed York is one of ’em.

  2. This is just a distraction the 49ers is using so people don’t discuss things like the 49ers spending $630,000 in unreported money to stop a city measure. The city won’t pay, the 49ers will shrug their shoulders, and they have their distraction.

    The 49ers have to stop trying to bleed money from the city. Don’t they make enough from their franchise? I would like to see the City of Santa Clara demand the Stadium cannot reopen until they can establish they are 100% sure a communicable disease (such as COVID19) cannot be spread there – then the 49ers may cooperate.

    • D, you are 100% correct. Lots of good comments here from everyone.

      Robert, thanks again for starting this news outlet. This gives us all a chance to voice or concerns. You have always had a fair and balanced approach and this gives all local residents a viable platform to voice their opinions, not be censored or muted, but to be heard. If my recent memory is correct, this has not always been the case here in Santa Clara.
      Remember the 49ers have a 40 year lease. We are just into the first 10% of that agreement!! Oh joy…
      Burt Field

  3. The 49ers should show up on game day and then go home. All other aspects of their involvement with the stadium need to halt immediately.

    The business side of the niners is truly evil.

    • OMG! You r so right! U can c the 9ers r stoking the 2020 election. Git ‘em out. Mgmt that is. Team staz.

      SC strong!!

  4. The Tax man eventually caught up with Al Capone too.

    The city should be handing all of this over to the correct authorities rather than fighting these losers.

    Eventually even the crooks have to pay up

  5. I guess you can’t read the invoice. The 49ers haven’t failed us yet, the steal from us every chance they get.

    The 49ers are a great team but run by mafiosos.

    Maybe you don’t live in Santa Clara and it’s not your money.

  6. It would be nice if there were a statement from the 49ers regarding this so we could see what they believe its for; rather than a one sided outrage piece.

  7. The Niners are constantly stealing from Santa Clara and their residents.

    This November I urge you to NOT support candidates that support or are supported by the SF 49ers. These partnerships show you who sold out the city and residents.

  8. Wow…this might be a new low. That is a tough call given their history and all. I think this might end up being a interesting game of trying to rank all of their poor business decisions. It’s a long, extensive and embarrassing list, but one that should be put together just for the heck of it. At that point, I would like to see where this little pearl fits in?
    By the way, wasn’t it just a few days ago the City announced it’s projecting a 33 Million dollar deficit due to Covid-19 Pandemic?
    I have to think that whenever this idiotic decision by the 49ers is ranked, we must take into account the timing of the decision. For that alone it will need to be somewhere near the top 10. Just my opinion.
    Burt Field

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