49ers Ask City to Fire Stadium Authority Auditor Hours Before Meeting to Review Findings

By Robert Haugh

Yesterday, the Stadium Authority (SA) met to review the preliminary findings of a stadium audit. It was done by J.S. Held. The firm was hired by the SA in 2018.

Hours before the meeting, 49ers CFO Scott Sabatino sent a letter to the SA suggesting that the firm be fired. We’re guessing that Sabatino didn’t like the preliminary findings. But shouldn’t Sabatino wait until next month when the team’s hand-picked council candidates get seated before he starts to tell the SA what to do?

This is deja vu. In 2017, when the respected Harvey Rose firm did a stadium audit that showed the 49ers owed $2 million and needed to clean up a lot of reporting, the team didn’t like it. They attacked the firm then, too.

This year’s J.S. Held report is pretty lengthy and I didn’t have time to review it in its entirety. I couldn’t watch the entire meeting yesterday because of other commitments. So I’ll write about the findings in the next couple of days.

Stay tuned. It should be at least as good as the Harvey Rose audit if Sabatino is attacking the auditor.


  1. Most Santa Clarans voted for the subsidy to the billionaire owner of the 49ers. Why didn’t you speak out at City Council meetings against it????

  2. “Santa Clara Voter”, don’t neglect the support from Council member Davis. She will be missed along with other Santa Clara supporters.
    The incoming 49er-bought council members will soon find that the gold they thought they were panning is fools gold.
    I heard that San Francisco city leaders were happy to see the pain in the butt niners go. Easy to see why.

    • Howard, it wasn’t just SF leaders being happy to see them go that has caught my attention. It was also interesting to hear the reaction from the other side of the Bay (Oakland) and what they thought it would be like getting in Bed with the 49ers.
      I know we can’t roll back time, just a good takeaway at the very least.
      They are hear for another 33 years, but if they ever want to leave early I’d love to be part of that negotiation.
      It’s really sad the amount of negative energy that we are spending on this one small segment of our City.
      It’s almost hard now to imagine how much more we could have done if they had never shown up.

      I really wish there was a “Reset” Button.
      Sadly we are now left with damage control.
      Burt Field

  3. Many thanks to outgoing councilmembers Davis and O’Neill for their dedication and years of service. It has been through their (and Mayor Gillmor and councilmember Watanabe) dogged persistence that the 49ers organization has been called to account for their attempts to defraud the city and it’s residents through poor bookkeeping, submission of overblown and unnecessary expense reports, and out-and-out purchase of political allies on the council. Santa Clara residents will be watching carefully as the new council takes it’s place and the votes they will be making on any issue affecting the 49ers and the stadium.

    • Great comments for sure! We have had the pleasure of watching and working with some of the best Santa Clara has ever put forth.
      Ive been wrong before, but my guess is those leaders will not be truly recognized for their strength, dedication and courage until we are witness to the train wreck that is heading our way.
      The voters have spoken, so now the process moves forward.
      Maybe our situation will help guide other Municipalities to protect against one person, one entity having a magnified voice larger and louder then ever experienced in a local election.

      If I can’t stop it, I have still some options. I could leave, or get out of the way. Another option is to stick around, get a chair and wait for the train wreck. It makes me sick to imagine any of those options. But the voters have spoken. I guess now we will learn what $3 Million can really buy you in the valley, besides a fixer upper in Los Altos or Saratoga.
      Burt Field

  4. Make sure you have lots of popcorn, Robert! If last night’s meeting is an indication, the report should win an Oscar. O’Neill and Davis went out in a blaze of glory for their last meeting. Their questions and history lessons about how thisy fought the good ol boys previously on the Council was an eye-opener. They made a big difference in getting things changed. One can gather why Jed spent $3M to get his soldiers elected and Sabatino wanted to fire auditor. Oh, make sure you have lots to drink too as there’s alot to swallow in the report too. It ain’t pretty.

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