Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara

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San Francisco 49ers Lose Big In Home Field Dispute

Matt Bigler
August 13, 2018 - 10:44 am

The San Francisco 49ers lost an attempt to lower the rent they pay for Levi's Stadium, and, in fact, will actually see an annual increase.

An arbitrator last week ended a two-year dispute between the team and the city of Santa Clara by rejecting the Niners' request to slash their stadium rent by $4.25 million. In the end, the arbitrator ordered an annual increase of $238,000. 

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor is satisfied with that decision. "The arbitration award is a major victory for the citizens of Santa Clara and the taxpayers. And it shows now that we are managing the 49ers and not being managed by them," she said. "They asked for an $180 million rent reduction, and the city of Santa Clara and the Stadium Authority fought back."

The city says the arbitrator's decision will allow it to more quickly pay down the debt from the stadium. 

In response, Rahul Chandhok, the San Francisco 49ers' vice president of public affairs said in a strongly worded statement, "It's exactly this deceptive approach, her lack of transparency and fuzzy math that makes Mayor Gillmor difficult to trust."

But the team said it has accepted the arbitrator's decision. 

Written by Diana Shook