Deal may give 49ers $10.3M rent credit 

The San Francisco 49ers will receive up to $10.3 million in rent credits over four years for repairs and maintenance on Monster Park under a legal settlement offered by The City.

In January, the NFL team filed a legal claim alleging that The City — which owns the 47-year-old stadium at Candlestick Point — has failed to maintain the facility as required under the lease. The tentative agreement, reached on April 1, is now headed to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

Although the San Francisco 49ers announced in November their intention to build a new stadium by 2012, with the preferred site in Santa Clara, the team’s $6.8 million annual lease in San Francisco extends until 2013.

"We’re just asking that the landlord, the City of San Francisco, maintain the stadium so that it can be used for a pleasant, safe experience," said 49ers spokesman Pete Hillan, who added that water leakage, flooding in the parking lot and broken elevators are among the maintenance concerns.

The settlement money, which would be paid out over four years, would go to a laundry list of work that the San Francisco 49ers say is long overdue, including fixing escalators, elevators and stairs; installing security cameras; waterproofing locker rooms; remodeling restrooms; andmaking asphalt repairs in the parking lot.

This is not the first time The City has agreed to provide rent credits to the 49ers for maintenance and repairs. The City reimbursed the team for $4.2 million in 2006 and $1.5 million in 2004.

Maintenance of the stadium is in the hands of The City’s Recreation and Park Department. Rose Dennis, a spokeswoman for the department, contested the 49ers claims that The City has been negligent.

"We’ve done everything we’re legally obligated to do," Dennis said.

See video of the 49ers first round draft pick, Patrick Willlis, on Examiner's "San Francisco in Video" blog

With San Francisco working to keep the 49ers from leaving, the team was in a position to play hardball in recent months to secure a maximum amount of rent credits. Last month, during a meeting with The Examiner’s editorial board, Mayor Gavin Newsom said discussions with the team about their future in San Francisco had been "disproportionately focused" on the lease agreement.

San Francisco became the 49ers’ second-choice site for a new stadium as of November, when team officials declared a proposed stadium project at Candlestick Point unworkable for numerous reasons, including a plan to pack cars into a mega-parking garage. The City has since proposed building the stadium at the site of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

The Santa Clara City Council is currently mulling over a financial pitch made by the team at the end of April that would require the Silicon Valley city to invest $160 million in public funds to help build the team’s new football stadium adjacent to the Great America amusement park. The team has asked the council to make a decision on the project by July.

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Bonnie Eslinger

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