SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — KPIX 5 got a series of special inside tours from the San Francisco 49ers as they put the finishing touches on Levi’s Stadium in preparation for the team’s inaugural season in their new Santa Clara home.
“We can’t wait for people to walk in the building – to see their reaction,” said Project Executive Jack Hill.
“The biggest thing that fans are going to see is there’s not a bad seat in the house,” added team President Paraag Marathe.
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It took 8,000 people to build Levi’s Stadium. Hill’s job was making sure it all came together just the way the owners wanted it.
“From a fan’s perspective, they wanted it to have a good feel,” he explained. ” It’s very unique in its design.”
One unique aspect: its expandability, with four different locations that can hold additional seats. There’s also an oversized press box to accommodate the national media for Super Bowl 50 … and beyond.
A FAN’S EXPERIENCE
Once you get inside, there’s a fantastic view waiting for you. I think it’s the best stadium in the NFL and I hope as 49er fans come in they’ll agree,” said Chief Operating Officer Al Guido.
Guido couldn’t be more proud of the team’s new home. When it comes to football, he said, you can see the game as up close and personal as any other stadium in the league. There are more seats closer to the action, and even the upper deck seats aren’t bad.
“Largest lower bowl in the NFL,” he added. “Not a bad seat in the house.”
All but 500 of the almost 69,000 seats are season tickets, and there are 1,500 standing-room-only spots.
It’s built smack dab in the middle of Silicon Valley, and for fans, that means the most wired game experience in the U.S. “There’s Wi-Fi boxes under every hundredth seat,” Guido said.
In fact, the stadium is so wired, that it already knows where you’re sitting. Just use the custom stadium app.
“If you pull up your phone, it literally pulls up the three concession stands near you, because of your GPS and your wayfinding, and you can order to those stands, walk back and go grab it,” he explained. “If you don’t want to get up out of your seat you want to order in seat delivery, we can do that to all 68,000 fans. Never been done before.”
At 13,000 square feet, the scoreboard is the largest in the NFL. The operators can split the board into eighths, twelfths, fours, or what they call “full bleed” to use the whole thing for a huge picture.
The fan experience may be unlike any other in pro football, and fans may expect a lot: some have paid up to $8,000 for the right to buy season tickets that cost $3,700 a year. But as Hill said, “Even if your team hadn’t won that day, we want you to walk away saying ‘Hey, that’s a really great stadium.'”
If you’re thinking this Silicon Valley stadium is out of your league, the 49ers want you to reconsider. “It’s a little bit of a misnomer when people say it’s not affordable,” said Marathe.
The most expensive “marquee” game ticket will set you back more than $550, but some single seats during the preseason are just about $40.
As for souvenirs, the team tells us prices will be about the same as their online store, so between $20 and $30 for a t-shirt and about the same for a hat.