Oooo some drama is happening down in Santa Clara following that widely read story about the Rolling Stones never wanting to play at Levi's Stadium again. The 49ers say that the city manager and city council are now retaliating over the negative press, and are trying to wrest control of all concert events at the stadium away from the 49ers.
In a closed session Tuesday, city leaders voted unanimously to terminate the agreement they have with the 49ers when it comes to non-NFL events. Per ABC 7, City Manager Deanna Santana said at the meeting, "This is about compliance, accountability and transparency. This is an introduction of an ordinance that amends various sections of the code to modify the Stadium Authority Executive Director's authority to execute contracts."
The Stadium Authority, which is essentially the Santa Clara City Council, wants to take over the management of all soccer games, college football games, concerts, and other events at Levi's. But the 49ers say that this is all just dirty dealing after the backlash the city received over what The Rolling Stones' management called "micromanaging" on the part of the city. (The concert blew past the city's 10 p.m. curfew on August 18, but had to comply with the city's demand to cancel a planned pyrotechnics show... and there were some other kerfuffles.)
In a statement Tuesday given to NBC Bay Area, the 49ers brass said, "After City Manager Santana’s dysfunction with respect to stadium events was exposed, she has chosen to spiral even further. Her actions are purely retaliatory, and we are not surprised that she has commenced yet another legal battle. She is abdicating her fiduciary duty by destroying a city asset for petty, political vendettas."
In a letter to Levi's management last month, Stones promoter John Morrison wrote, "The impression I and many others in the industry have, is your facility is getting so restrictive and dysfunctional, it’s no longer worth the effort to play there due to the myriad and random rule changes." He suggested that fewer big concert tours were going to agree to come to the stadium due to all the onerous restrictions the city has imposed.
Santa Clara city leaders have promised a press conference today at 11 a.m. to discuss the changes they want to make. SFist will update you with any further information on that.
Update: At the press conference, per KPIX, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor leveled accusations of wage theft on the 49ers, saying they failed to pay prevailing wages for workers at the venue. Also she said that stadium manager Jim Mercurio had "received or purchased stock in two companies that were granted stadium authority contracts," which is a "clear conflict of interest." The team maintains that they will continue to manage the stadium for all event, and they say the city's actions are "in direct violation of the clear language of the relevant contracts."
Photo courtesy of Levi's Stadium