By Robert Haugh
The Santa Clara City Council set a deadline for May 23 to force the 49ers to share information about the 2026 FIFA World Cup games that will be played at Levi’s Stadium.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked the City Council to put on a future Council agenda an action to get information from the team using a subpoena if necessary.
The 49ers have not shared key information with the City about costs and public safety regarding the FIFA events. This lack of cooperation was noted in the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury report last year.
After the report came out, the Council set a February deadline for the team to give the City information. But the 49ers have not shared key information with City staff.
New City Attorney Glen Googins recommended that the item for possible action be agendized for the May 23 meeting.
“This is really important,” said Googins. “We do need more information if we are to engage on this.”
Googins said that he and other City staff are meeting with the 49ers on April 19 to discuss FIFA. But he didn’t seem optimistic that the team would be cooperative. “I doubt that we’ll have everything we need,” said Googins.
Police Chief Pat Nikolai wrote a statement supporting Gillmor’s request. Here are a couple of his key points.
“At this time the PD does not have critical information for this event. Using Super Bowl 50 as an example, many of these details were known 3 years in advance.”
“The lack of communication regarding FIFA is unacceptable and I encourage the Council to take this step to compel the appropriate sharing of information.”
Councilmember Kathy Watanabe noted that the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament is scheduled for March 2026 in San Jose and that could have a major impact on neighboring police departments.
The 49ers have also made a bid for the Super Bowl in 2026. They have not shared information with the City about that bid either.
This was also a concern for Gillmor. “We have less staff than we had when we hosted Super Bowl 50,” said Gillmor. “We can’t even staff our Boards and Commissions meetings.”
Councilmember Karen Hardy was uncomfortable with pushing the 49ers with a subpoena. The team spent $1 million in an independent political expenditure to get Hardy re-elected last year.
You can watch her waffling here.
Councilman Anthony Becker was absent from the meeting.
This is a developing story.