SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The new home of the San Francisco 49ers is virtuallty complete and on Tuesday, the team opened the doors of Levi’s Stadium to reporters for a first-hand look.
“Here we are 30 days or so from opening and we’re right where we need to be,” said stadium Project Manager Jack Hill. “94 percent complete and we closing in on 95 pretty quick.”
The $1.3 billion dollar stadium features a number of technological firsts, including a state-of-the-art, stadium-wide Wi-Fi that could allow every one of the 68,000 fans to simultaneously connect and watch instant video replay, order food or find the closest bathroom.
While reporters were allowed inside the 49ers locker room, no cameras were allowed as the team wants the players to see it in person, not on TV or online.
The locker room is about the size of a tennis court, about twice the size of the locker room at Candlestick Park. It is also finished with solid walnut lockers.
The visitors’ locker room was fair game for photos, and it is nice and expansive, but no comparison to what the home team gets.
Other amenities for reporters will appreciate include a very large auditorium for the coach’s postgame news conferences and the press box – which is a big box, especially compared to the cramped quarters at Candlestick.
“It’s huge,” said San Francisco Chronicle reporter Ann Killion. “Several times bigger than Candlestick’s press box.”
The massive press box is designed to take any media crush that comes its way, such as for Super Bowl 50. “[The press box is] built to accommodate the nation’s media for the Super Bowl,” said Killion.
Meanwhile, fans in any seat can feast their eyes on the dual video screens – 48 tall and 200 feet wide – the biggest outdoor video screens in the National Football League.
The stadium’s first event is on August 2nd, a soccer game between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders.