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.