By Betty Yu

SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — It was an emotional rollercoaster for the thousands of San Francisco 49ers fans who flocked to Levi’s Stadium for the team’s first home opener with fans since 2019.

The fan cutouts were gone as was the strict social distancing and outside masking requirements of the COVID era. Pro football was back and the 49ers Faithful came decked out in their finest gold and red outfits.

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“It’s great to be back you know I love coming here, I’m a season ticket holder,” said Salvatore Lopez Alonzo of Watsonville. “I’m the unofficial 49ers mascot.”

The crowd went wild was the 49er offense sprang to life in the final moments of the first half and during the second half slugfest with their long-time rival Green Bay Packers and their quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who played collegiately across the Bay at Cal.

“If they win it’s a plus, but we’re Faithful and it’s great to see – just look at this, all the fans here for opening day,” said Lorraine Scheu of Fresno.

For many fans, it was the first event they’ve attended along side tens of thousands of people.

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“It feels amazing to be with other souls,” said Mayra Aguilar of Orange County.

Though the 49ers encouraged all guests and staff to get vaccinated, it was not required for entry. Fans did not need to show negative COIVD tests either.

Masks were required indoors, and there were no capacity restrictions.

In the final minute of the game, the 49ers rallied to take a 28-27 lead. But Rodgers dashed their hopes as he completed two passes to Davante Adams and Mason Crosby booted a 51-yard field goal on the final play to lift the Packers to victory.

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“It’s always a good experience to come out to Levi’s,” said Justin Farinas. “We’re 2-1, we’re still not in a bad spot, we’re going to bounce back. Absolutely,”