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Stadium Authority Hears Financial Audit Results

An independent financial audit of Levi’s Stadium finances by CPA firm KPMG shows that the City put more than $3 million into its general fund from stadium operations last year.

The Stadium Authority Board reviewed KPMG’s findings at its Tuesday night meeting. KPMG issued an “unqualified” opinion, meaning that the documents provided to them were free of any misstatements.

Lisa Avis, managing director of KPMG, said the San Francisco 49ers’ management companies—ManCo and StadCo—gave them “full cooperation,” adding her company conducted the audit as is “consistent with industry practices.”

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Kyle Schlumpf, senior manager with KPMG, said his company emphasized risk assessment when conducting the audit.

Public meeting mainstay Deborah Bress called the audit a “garbage in, garbage out” situation, saying that all KPMG did was confirm numbers given to them by City employees. She said it is hard to get an accurate picture of the stadium finances with information missing.

“If there are numbers they are not seeing, then the audit means nothing,” fellow mainstay Scott Lane said.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor said KPMG’s audit along with the review conducted by Harvey Rose & Associates earlier this year—a review that made more than 30 recommendations on how to better ensure the City is getting what it is owed from the team—will better equip the board to make decisions.

She said the board will have to redo budgets and independently verify revenue at Levi’s Stadium.

Although KPMG conducted the audit, Angela Kraetsch, the City’s Acting Finance Director, handled the few questions from the board regarding the audit, saying that KPMG and her staff “worked together” to develop the numbers provided.

The board unanimously approved noting and filing the audit.

Other meetings, curfew

Two other stadium authority study sessions had to be cancelled due to what City Interm Manager Rajeev Batra called the “scope not being fully developed.”

Batra said the Sept. 6 and Sept. 14 meetings were not advertised and had not been “vetted or fully baked,” causing those meetings to be cancelled.

Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta expressed chagrin at the cancellation, saying that he thought the Council was “crystal clear” about what they wanted, adding that he was “perplexed and disappointed” the meetings didn’t go on as scheduled.

The cancellations didn’t go unnoticed by mainstays Bress and Lane, who were among the only members of the public present. Bress said the board is “destroying [its] credibility.”

“The public is not getting what it needs,” she said.

There was also much ado about the City applying more stringent penalties for breaking the noise ordinance curfew prior to the Coldplay concert Oct. 4. The U2 concert earlier this year broke the curfew, saddling the team with a $1,000 fine—as per the City ordinance. Many members of the public and Council have called the penalty “laughable.”

Lane said the board has “jurisdictional authority” to institute stiffer penalties.

However, when Caserta asked what the outlook of scheduling non-NFL events looks like, Jim Mercurio, Vice President of Stadium Operation at Levi’s Stadium, said if the team and the board don’t address the curfew issue, it will hurt the amount of events the stadium will host, especially concerts.

Mercurio also said the City would be in a position to vie for another Super Bowl sometime in the next year to 18 months.

The Council will meet Sept. 26 to discuss the curfew.

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