BREAKING: San Francisco Chronicle Exposes “Funny Money” 49er Settlement Offer to Santa Clara

By Robert Haugh

A lot of Santa Clarans shared a San Francisco Chronicle story that appeared online late Friday about the 49ers’ settlement offer to the City.

It wasn’t good news for 49ers. 

Today, the Bay Area’s biggest and most respected newspaper printed the story on the front page. It was an exhaustive analysis by Chronicle reporters Ron Kroichick and Lance Williams.

Some Mission City residents couldn’t access the story behind a paywall. So below are some key sections. 

But if you want to subscribe, here’s a link. Or you could buy the paper at 7-11 like I did.

49er Settlement Numbers are “Funny Money”

The total value of the San Francisco 49ers’ offer to the city of Santa Clara to settle multimillion-dollar lawsuits over the management of Levi’s Stadium is about 10 percent what the team has claimed, a Chronicle analysis shows.

The team said its package to the city is worth approximately $13 million, according to a review of city records, the team’s advertising and its public statements. The 49ers described this as their “best and final offer” ahead of Tuesday’s City Council meeting, when the matter may be decided. But the analysis shows the 49ers have offered only $1.35 million in cash. The rest of the offer is based on presumed benefits from settling the lawsuits and from other sources, including some funds the city already controls.

The settlement offer seems to be “funny money,” said Thomas Shanks, former executive director of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

“The public has no reason to trust these numbers, and neither does the council,” said Shanks, who is working on a study of the ethical aspects of the city’s relations with the team. “What they need to do is have objective and independent analysis” of the 49ers’ settlement proposal, he said. “Who trusts only one side of the story?”

49ers Violated Agreements and Laws, Now Control the City Council

Since 2019, Santa Clara has sought to replace the 49ers as managers of the $1.3 billion, publicly owned Levi’s Stadium, alleging the team diverted millions of dollars of game and concert revenue that should have been shared with taxpayers.

The city also accused 49ers executives of violating state contracting and conflict-of-interest laws. The team has denied wrongdoing and accused the city of illegally meddling in stadium affairs. It sued to keep the management contract, and the city countersued.

When the dispute began, the City Council was controlled by a majority ready to carefully scrutinize the city’s relationship with the 49ers. But in 2020, team CEO Jed York spent $2.9 million to help elect a more 49ers-friendly majority to the council. That new majority fired City Attorney Brian Doyle and then City Manager Deanna Santana, both 49ers critics, and now has turned its attention to the lawsuits.

Santa Clara Will Get a Small Amount and Give Up a Lot, Potentially

“When you dig into this, the only thing coming out of their pocket is the $1.35 million,” (Mayor Lisa) Gillmor said. “And it doesn’t even begin to talk about our lost revenues in the future, by giving them complete and utter control with no accountability to the Stadium Authority.”

The claim also assumes the city would lose the lawsuit. But city officials have been optimistic about the case, and if the city won, the 49ers could be saddled with the city’s legal costs.

That’s what happened in 2017, when the team sought a stadium rent reduction. The dispute went to arbitration, the 49ers lost, and the team was ordered to pay the city’s lawyers.

SF Chronicle 49ers Settlement is Funny Math


    • Yes, LaLa Cardona and Anthony “Bubble Belly” Becker are right. Tom Shanks got thousands from Lisa Gillmor!!! Lance Williams gets bagels for free!!

      Suds Jain uncovered Lance Williams sending James Rowen Tillanook!!@

      Bottom line you three bums, game over

      Note to Suds and the taco bell kid


  1. Thank you SF Chronicle and reporters Ron Kroichick and Lance Williams.

    Expose the 49ers / Jed York and the 49er 5 as what they are: “49er 1st vs Santa Clara 1st”.

    #WakeUpSantaClara2022 and vote back integrity and transparency for Santa Clara and our residents.

    Sign the petition and stop the backroom dealing. Share with your neighbors and on your Social Media.

  2. Thanks to the San Francisco chronicle for getting the truth out. This isn’t the first time Jed and his organization have been trying to bully the City of Santa Clara out of millions of dollars, money that belong to the residents.

    Time to shut Jed out and lock up the 49er 5.

  3. It’s great news that Kroichick and Williams are investigating this situation between the city and the team. Lance Williams co-wrote Game of Shadows which exposed the use of steroids in sports. Bringing down Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and other cheaters. These reporters are bulldogs. They will not stop until they get to the bottom of this. Most likely they will find that the 49ers are involved in criminal activity such as fraud and racketeering . Also the collusion between the team, the stadium management and members of the Santa Clara city council will be proven and made public. In the end several 49er front office types will be facing prison sentences. I love to see people get they deserve.

  4. Grand jury has power to subpoena including notes from meetings. Destroying evidence is a crime. Just saying.

  5. Kroichick and Williams are solid journalists in a time where actual investigative journalism is lacking. These are good people to have reporting in this as it will be factual.
    Too bad our local paper is afraid of reporting actual news as they don’t want to ruffle the feathers of Jed and risk money.

  6. Wow
    This is fantastic coverage! This appears to be both fair, and accurate.
    Thank you San Francisco Chronical for allocating the time and resources to subjects like this.
    In life when we choose to support things that are important to us. How we show it, comes down to usually one or two things.
    They are
    1. Our time
    2. Our money
    Between the two, our time is actually way more valuable.
    Think about it, If we loose some money, we can always make more. But usually that is done by working overtime….Ironic…
    But loose even one minute, it’s gone.
    So my suggestion is really simple.
    1. Subscribe to the San Francisco Chronical
    2. Then if you are really serious, send me an email. Let me know you also want to help right this ship.
    There is a book I have read, it says “Many hands make light work”. We need help.

    Every post I sign my real name, and recently I started to included my personal email.
    This is important to me, let me know if it is important to you as well.

    Burt Field

  7. We can only hope the walls are closing in. Now. And take the 5 and their backup crew like the mahans mclemores, sellers, Honda, basically all the Gillmor haters and expose them for the corruption they have brought to Santa Clara.

  8. Gatsby you may be right. But the other big news is Dr. Thomas Shanks is doing study on ethics about this whole mess. Lot’s for Dr. Shanks to dig into. Chahal and Hardy being investigated and not recusing themselves, Becker and Jain buying cheapo tickets to game then getting access to the luxury areas, Park asking for money from the 49ers, the 49er Five meeting with the team regularly and then hiding that info from city staff, …

    In some ways I feel sorry for these people. They may not be ethical but they’re not smart either. They hand Jed a big win and they take the reputational (or worse) hit.

  9. This is big news. It’s not about the numbers. The 49ers using “funny money” is not news. NFL teams lie. Big deal. But the Chron giving this much space on page one is news. They must think there’s some big stories brewing here in Santa Clara.

    Just looked up the reporters bios. Whoa. They’re two of the best at the paper. Chron definitely thinks they got something here.

  10. Sleazy slimy Suds Jain sneaking around City Hall spying on his obsession, Lisa. Suds has stooped to partner with the portly loser Anthony Becker.

    These two are definitely the negative side of the force and have nothing positive to offer Santa Clara.

    Anthony Becker’s resume reads like a homeless person. No accomplishments for this Homer Simpson like candidate for mayor. Becker is just trying to monetize his position. And Suds has turned into a liar and an obsessed creep whoring himself out for his own agenda.

    These two need to continually be exposed for cancer they are to our City.

    • An accusation can be prepated by District Attorney and submitted to grand jury

      Suds Jain
      Kevin Park
      Anthony Becker

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