SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — From San Jose’s Santana Row to San Francisco’s famed Fisherman’s Wharf, a fandom malady going by the name of ’49ers Fever’ was percolating Tuesday, building as the hours counted down toward Sunday’s NFC Championship Game showdown with the Green Bay Packers.
At Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, where the team will host its first NFC title game since moving into the facility in 2014, tickets were sold out, fueling a scalper market that had nosebleed tickets going for more than $300 and 50-yard-line seats on StubHub commanding a lofty $2,324 pricetag.
According to Ticketmaster, the average resale price for the game is $778 — more than double the $312 average for the team’s last playoff appearance in 2013. And while there was some interest among Green Bay fans, the largest resale markets were for ticket buyers in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Hawaii.
The team was also on pace to set a new attendance record Sunday for a 49ers home game after welcoming a new record 71,649 to the NFC Divisional Playoff against the Minnesota Vikings on January 11.
Other highly attended events in Levi’s Stadium history include the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2019 (74,814), Super Bowl 50 in 2016 (71,088) and two Grateful Dead concerts in 2015 (75,496 and 74,947).
The building frenzy hasn’t been lost on head coach Kyle Shanahan. He’s noticed a big difference between the fan response during his first two seasons and this year.
“It’s a pretty big difference,” he said. “The fan noise is as big of a difference as probably our team is, also. They’ve gotten a lot louder as we’ve gotten better. I thought they’ve been loud and great all year. I didn’t think it could get much louder, but it definitely was on Saturday [in the Divisional playoff game against Minnesota].”
“It was unbelievable when we went out there for pregame. Just to hear how loud it was in pregame, which is unusual anywhere you go. I think we’ve been loud all year. At the line of scrimmage, they were loud when [Vikings QB] Kirk [Cousins] was in the huddle trying to call his plays. I can tell whenever they are touching their ears, whether they are affecting guys in the huddle or not, and he was doing it all game.”
He also noticed the sea of red-clad fans when he was driving into the stadium.
“It was just unbelievable,” Shanahan said. “Usually driving in you see a lot of jerseys on the other team. You always see them in the stadium. I thought it was unbelievable our guys didn’t sell any tickets to Minnesota people either because all I saw in the stands was red. It was very noticeable and it gave us a special feeling.”
Tight end George Kittle echoed the sentiment about the fans before the Vikings game.
“They’ve been incredible all year, home or away games,” he said. “All of our away games felt like home games. I just expect them to be incredible. Definitely we’ve got to give them something to cheer about, give them something to back. If we get rolling, I know Levi’s Stadium is going to be right behind us.”
You couldn’t miss the local support if you traveled around the Bay Area. San Francisco’s City Hall was awash with the team’s red and gold colors as the city’s famed Coit Tower.
San Jose City Hall was also ablaze in red and gold on Monday night. And 49ers jerseys, jackets and hats were everywhere.