The Mercury News has published a surprisingly entertaining story about a three-way spat currently raging between the Rolling Stones, the San Francisco 49ers, and the city of Santa Clara. The fight is over various logistical headaches that come with trying to put on a concert at the Niners’ stadium, and all parties involved seem intent on blaming everyone else for causing those headaches. Through some spicy emails, letters, and texts, the Mercury News sketches out the conflict.
It goes like this: The Rolling Stones were scheduled to have a concert in the stadium in August, but were upset by the addition of some last-minute regulations. While all angry about this, the band’s production manager fired off a letter to the stadium’s general manager:
“…Do you not want touring shows anymore? 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,” wrote John Morrison, site promoter and production manager for the Rolling Stones’ No Filter 2019 tour in an Aug. 23 letter to Levi’s Stadium general manager Jim Mercurio.
The 49ers blamed the city for putting so many onerous regulations on acts that want to play in the stadium. City manager Deanna Santana, in her own sassy email, disagreed with that assessment, saying that, actually, the 49ers are the ones who keep screwing up:
City manager Deanna Santana rebutted the criticism, saying the San Francisco 49ers, which manage and operate Levi’s, “brought issues very late to the city’s attention,” forcing it to make decisions within very short time frames.
“The City has a responsibility to ensure that events comply with building and fire codes, which it did and, it is unfortunate that the Forty Niners and Promoters view this regulatory function as excessive or micromanaging,” Santana said in an email.
What do the 49ers, who shared the Rolling Stones’ letters with the Mercury News, have to say about all this? Plenty!
Rahul Chandhok, vice president of public affairs and strategic communications for the 49ers, said the complaints from the Rolling Stones’ staff reflect a combative city attitude that will ultimately hurt the stadium’s ability to book competitive talent.
Referring to Santana, Chandhok said, “Her actions would have directly harmed concertgoers. Such stunts may appease Mayor (Lisa) Gillmor, but they continue to harm every Santa Clara resident.”
And what does the Mayor have to say about that? Glad you asked!
“The 49ers should spend less time criticizing others and more time learning how to follow the laws like those governing workers wages and the curfew, which they agreed to when they opened the stadium in 2014,” Gillmor said in a text message.
All this sniping is much funnier when you consider that it’s happening against the backdrop of the continuous disaster that is the 49ers stadium situation. The place is an expensive monstrosity that’s constantly empty because it’s an hour outside of San Francisco and anyone who enters it is at risk of being scorched by the sun while watching bad football. It makes perfect sense that the people responsible for building and managing a stadium like that are also too busy sniping at each other to make any money from hosting concerts and events. Look at what a good job everyone is doing:
The 49ers have quarreled with the city over its management since the stadium opened in 2014, most prominently over the 10 p.m. curfew for weeknight concerts and 11 p.m. curfew on weekends, which they say will drive away high-profile acts.
Earlier this year, the team blamed the curfew for a disappointing haul, saying its annual event revenue in the last fiscal year totaled $750,000 instead of the projected $5 million.
Keep it up, you guys.