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49ers slam ‘deceptive’ Santa Clara mayor

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A fan reacts to a score as the Jacksonville Jaguars face the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

The public agency that owns Levi’s Stadium has won a legal victory in a dispute with the San Francisco 49ers over the team’s rent, city said in a news release.

An arbiter last week denied the 49ers’ request to reduce their annual rent by $4.25 million. Instead, the team’s rent will increase by $238,000 to $24.7 million, according to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.

In March 2016, the 49ers requested the rent reduction to $20.25 million per year. The City Council unanimously refused the reduction, and the 49ers filed for arbitration to decide the issue.

In addition to the rent increase, the arbiter’s decision confirms that the Stadium Authority will receive back pay for rental payments owed, attorneys’ fees and costs, and future increased rental payments, according to the news release.

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor said in the release:

“With the success of the City Council (acting as the Stadium Authority) and the new city administration, there is a new balance of power that puts the taxpayers and their representatives in charge.”

Gillmore added:

“Unfortunately, the 49ers have a record of withholding documents and payments from the Stadium Authority. … On behalf of the Stadium Authority board, we will work to ensure timely payments of these public funds owed to the Stadium Authority and continue to hold the 49ers accountable to the public and Stadium Authority for issues important to Santa Clara.”

Rahul Chandhok, vice president of public affairs and strategic communications for the 49ers, said in a statement tonight that the team accepts the arbitrator’s decision to increase its annual rent payment by 1 percent.

Chandhok also said it’s “deceitful” of Gillmor to infer otherwise:

“It’s exactly this deceptive approach, her lack of transparency, and fuzzy math that make Mayor Gillmor difficult to trust.”

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