By Brian Doyle
Editor’s Note: Yesterday we ran a story about the 49ers hosting a visit from FIFA, the international soccer organization that’s been involved in lots of major scandals. Former City Attorney Brian Doyle posted a lengthy comment on our site. Today, it’s reprinted here because Doyle raises some really serious questions.
It is important for the public to understand that there are serious legal issues that are implicated by (49ers executive) Al Guido’s actions. I have made the following request to the City Council:
Pursuant to Council Policy 030, I hereby request that the following written petition be placed on the next City Council agenda:
On September 17, 2019, the Stadium Authority Board terminated the Stadium Management Agreement with the San Francisco 49ers. Although the 49ers sued the Stadium Authority in an attempt to prevent the termination, the litigation has still not been resolved. The 49ers’ breaches which gave grounds for the termination are serious and remain without remedy. They involve self dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of conflict of interest laws. Without the Management Agreement, the 49ers have absolutely no right to book non-NFL events.
Despite the fact that he has no right to obligate the Stadium Authority, Al Guido has been representing to FIFA that they will be able to use Levi’s Stadium as a venue for the 2026 World Cup matches. Despite the fact that the Management Agreement has been terminated, Mr. Guido has never consulted the Stadium Authority Board about whether he is authorized to grant a license to use the publicly-owned Levi’s Stadium.
I hereby request that the City Council and Stadium Authority Board place an item on a future agenda to explain to the public how Mr. Guido can proceed with misrepresenting his authority to FIFA officials. The report to the Board should include answers to the following questions:
1. Has Mr. Guido informed the FIFA officials that the Stadium Authority Board has terminated the Management Agreement, and that therefore he may not be legally authorized to book World Cup matches at Levi’s Stadium?
2. Have Mr. Guido’s negotiations included potential deals that would benefit entities in which Mr. Guido has an interest?
3. What conversations have any Board Members engaged in about use of Levi’s Stadium for the 2026 World Cup, and under what authority have these conversations occurred?
The public deserves to have public discussion of whether a major world sporting event ought to be held at its publicly-owned stadium in Santa Clara under these extremely disturbing circumstances.
Brian Doyle is the former Santa Clara City Attorney and a District 5 resident.