Levi’s Stadium Inaugural Game Marred By Transit, Traffic Problems; Long Lines At Earthquakes-Sounders Match
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SANTA CLARA (KCBS) — The San Francisco 49ers are taking a close look at how things went with this past weekend’s inaugural sporting event at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
While many of the estimated 48,000 fans had a great time at Saturday night’s soccer match watching the San Jose Earthquakes beat the Seattle Sounders, fans had to suffer through long waits trying to get to the game and then to get back home.
Meanwhile, thousands more were right next door enjoying themselves at Great America theme park. All those people left around the same time, creating traffic bottlenecks and snarls. Some people reported waiting for more than an hour to get to the parking lots to the freeways.
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Fans inside the stadium also reported long waits at concession stands and some sold out food and beverage selections.
49ers Vice President of Stadium Operations Jim Mercurio put his best face on the situation, saying things went fairly smooth Saturday night.
“This is an ongoing evolution kind of a thing. We’ll probably still have these kinds of conversations in October because I’m going to want to get that better every single day, every single event,” said Mercurio.
The lines and waits were long for those who chose to go the public transportation route on Valley Transit Authority’s (VTA) light rail vehicles.
“The number of people in line was a little concerning to me. We were hoping it was going to go and I think it went a little slower than I think we anticipated,” Mercurio said.
VTA is hoping to cut those waiting times when they open a pocket track in two weeks, which will allow for extra post-game trains to be stored near the stadium.