SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) – The San Francisco 49ers took a financial hit after hosting Monday night’s college football title game at Levi’s Stadium, but team officials weren’t too worried that they didn’t reap much in the way of monetary benefits.
In fact, the Niners believe the event was a success in many ways.
The 49ers went into the college football championship game between Clemson and Alabama knowing that they would be running it at a multi-million dollar loss. Not only are they OK with that strategy, officials maintained it was money well spent.
49ers President Al Guido said the team did not take any public money and covered the shortfall of roughly $10 million to host the game. Guido insisted that by doing so, the team was playing the long game.
“Look, on an individual profit and loss, does it look great? Maybe not, but that does not meant the game won’t be a success from a financial perspective,” said Guido. “I truly think when the economic impact comes out, that we will have done the right thing by investing in the community. I do think it impacts the 49ers positively. I really do.”
The stadium was filled to capacity with a raucous crowd. Guido said those fans also filled area hotel rooms and restaurants, put thousands of people to work and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local teachers.
And then there were the intangibles, like putting Levi’s Stadium and the South Bay on the national stage for several hours on ESPN.
Guido told KPIX 5 he sent a text message to Levi’s CEO Charles Bergh, basically saying, You’re welcome.
“And I said, ‘I hope you enjoyed your eight hours of ESPN coverage with the backdrop of the stadium right behind you.’ It absolutely is priceless,” explained Guido.
What’s next? A World Cup game in 2026 when the U.S. next hosts the international soccer tournament. The dream would be the Super Bowl returning to Levi’s with the 49ers at home.
Guido added that there will be full transparency as far as the financial statements for the event. The team will be filing all the paperwork, and the public will be able to see all the final numbers in the days and weeks ahead.