SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) —

In a late-night session that stretched into the early hours, the Santa Clara City Council, acting as the Stadium Authority, approved a contentious settlement deal with the San Francisco 49ers. This agreement aims to resolve long-standing disputes over Levi’s Stadium operations, including public safety costs and other financial disagreements.

The city staff issued a press release, highlighting the signing of the deal, which had been voted on in a closed session the previous week. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor had previously criticized the settlement, calling it a “loan shark deal” on X. Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe also expressed her opposition on social media, arguing the agreement unfairly discounts public safety costs, harming taxpayers and compromising stadium security.

During the staff presentation, it was noted that the settlement would generate an additional $20 million for the city, primarily through an increase in the non-NFL ticket surcharge from $4 to $8. The reallocation of Stadium Authority revenues will also channel funds into reserve accounts and potentially the city’s general fund, drawing from the stadium’s demolition fund. However, little new revenue is expected directly from the 49ers.

Mayor Gillmor outlined the financial implications of the settlement before the vote, stating that the Stadium Authority owes the 49ers $14 million due to the settlement, which will need to be repaid over the next few years. She estimated the total cost of the settlement to the Stadium Authority to be between $75 million and $100 million. “I don’t want this $100 million weight with this agreement that people seem to love on the backs of our public,” Gillmor said, referencing the council members supporting the deal.

The current decision contrasts with a similar dispute in 2017, when a previous council opposed the 49ers’ attempt to lower their rent. The city prevailed, resulting in the team paying what they owed plus an additional $10 million, totaling approximately $180 million over the lease’s life.

Despite the contentious debate, the council approved the settlement with a 5-2 vote, with Mayor Gillmor and Councilwoman Watanabe dissenting. Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal and Kevin Park supported the deal.

City Manager Jovan Grogan, who is also the executive director of the Stadium Authority, praised the settlement, projecting the city’s general fund will receive $20 million in revenue over the next two years. “We believe the Settlement Agreement addresses key concerns and provides a fair and advantageous resolution for the Stadium Authority and Santa Clara residents,” Grogan said.

The settlement includes several financial benefits for the city, such as reducing the Stadium Authority’s reimbursement obligations by $108,000 per game and adding a $4 per ticket surcharge for non-NFL events to offset public safety funding. It also resolves a dispute over food buffet costs for Stadium Builder’s License holders, with the Stadium Authority agreeing to pay a fixed cost of $90,000 per game for these amenities.

The 49ers also supported the deal, with executive vice president and general counsel Jihad Beauchman stating, “The approval of this settlement fast tracks $20 million to the City General Fund and puts an end to all remaining litigation between the 49ers and the Stadium Authority. We look forward to beginning this new phase of collaboration and partnership with the city.”