Levi’s Stadium – San Francisco 49ers
Home of The Faithful
From 1946 when it all began at Kezar Stadium through the Candlestick Park years the 49ers have enjoyed tremendous success. Names like Brodie, Tittle, Montana, Clark, Rice, R.C. to Terrell Owens and Vernon Davis provided fans plenty of momentous memories, from the Alley Oop to The Catch. Upon their move from Golden Gate Park in 1971 to Candlestick Point, the 49ers would win five Super Bowls. Though both Kezar and Candlestick took its hits from the harsh winds and notorious fog and its less than comfortable settings, each venue provided the Niner Faithful its share of charm.
During the Candlestick years, until 1999, the 49ers would share their home with baseball’s San Francisco Giants. Even prior to being the sole tenant at The ‘Stick, the 49ers were already looking for a new place to replace their aging and decrepit home.
Their dream finally came to fruition in 2014 albeit almost 50 miles south from the city they call home. Reviews have been mixed from both fans and the media. In its five years since their move to Silicon Valley, while Levi is a far upgrade from Candlestick, many fans are still waiting for the one thing Candlestick Park hosted on a regular basis, post-season football.
Food & Beverage 4
There are so many options to list that the question is not what to order, but if are you willing to pay the price. From your basic hot dogs and brew, both domestic and premium, to your Pepsi product soft drinks, there is something for all taste pallets, including crab sandwiches, bbq pulled pork or beef brisket sandwiches and poke nachos.
However, if you’re planning on getting your money’s worth on game day food, you will want to check out the Red Zone Rally. Admission to the Red Zone Rally is $85. The Red Zone Rally opens three hours prior to kickoff at the Pavilion at Great America and entitles you all you can eat premium dining and beverage options. Also included with your entrance to the Red Zone Rally is free access to Great America’s Flight Deck roller coaster.
The 49ers Official Tailgate Party, the Faithful Mile, opens three hours before game time. It is located just inside the security perimeter, but outside the stadium on the venue’s west side. It runs the length of the building with San Tomas Aquino Creek separating it from the stadium and is filled with activity from various vendors as well as interactive fan attractions.
Gates to the stadium open two hours prior to kick-off. The 49ers take up space along the west side line while their opponents get a chance to look into the sun from the east side line. The 49ers enter the stadium from the southeast corner of the end zone while their opponents enter from the northwest corner.
West sideline seats are made up of club seats and above these sections is a building filled with suites and the press box. If you are not sitting on the west side, know there is still value on this side of the field for you. It comes in the form of a cleverly designed “bypass” which allows fans to travel from end zone to end zone, avoiding the massive clutter in the areas around the other main concourses.
There are two main scoreboards high above each end zone which offer crystal clear replays and statistics. Just below the scoreboards in this level is the Pepsi Fan Deck on the north end and the Bud Light Patio on the south end, two great areas with lots of room to enjoy with a group and view the game from a spectacular sight line.
Electronic ribbon boards encircle the areas which divide the two lowest and two highest levels around the seating bowl, providing basic statistics and out-of-town scores.
Concourses are widest at the lower levels, but even they are congested prior to the game and at half time. At higher levels, while the concourses are more narrow they offer spectacular, open air views of mountains.
Levi’s Stadium shares a parking lot with Six Flags Great America to the south and west. Aside from the theme park, the area around Levi Stadium lacks any kind of entertainment destinations for fans prior to or after the game.
San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose is a close 15 minutes from Santa Clara with several dining and entertainment options. Ah, but you’re wondering about the city the team calls home, San Francisco. Unfortunately, The City is a good 45 minute to an hour drive from Santa Clara, traffic conditions pending. If this is your first time to Northern California, don’t let this deter you from taking in what The City By The Bay has to offer.
Known as The Niner Faithful, the fans faith has certainly been tested the last few seasons. Despite failing to reach the post-season since moving to Silicon Valley in 2014, The Faithful who do show up are very rabid. Much has been made about the support of the fans since the move south of The City especially when many of them can be seen heading to the exits late in the game during another struggling season. To be fair, the fan support here is really no different from other NFL venues where the home team is struggling.
Not helping the situation, particularly early in the season is the fierce weather conditions and the blazing sun fans in the east stands up to the upper level seats face. Since the stadium’s opening, fans have been very vocal to the 49ers management about the lack of shade.
The bulk of the parking at Levi’s Stadium is just to the west of the stadium. The congestion in the area is worse than what you find at most venues and being that it shares a parking lot with a major amusement park adds to the challenge. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority offers light rail service that drops fans off across the street from the stadium’s north entrance. The cost is $2.50 each way and is a great way to avoid the hassles of traffic. The SCVTA also offers connections at Mountain View station, where fans traveling to and from points north as far as San Francisco can travel via CalTrain.
Return on Investment 3
In a word, steep, but you can do things to reduce the expense. With the team going through another struggling season, there are several third party sites where fans can purchase tickets for below face value. If you’re just looking to attend a game here without putting a huge dent in your wallet, with the team struggling, this is the time to do it.
TEAM MUSEUM – don’t miss this. At $15 for adult admission, the series of exhibits detailing the 70-year team history is on par with the game’s museum in Canton, Ohio. The museum opens two hours prior to kickoff. To get the full experience of the museum, ideally you may want to come on a non-game day. With much going on during the day of a game, two hours just isn’t enough time to fully enjoy the museum.
ART COLLECTION – featured throughout the stadium with local artists represented, this new trend at stadiums adds a softer touch to beautifying the venue while adding to the branding of the host team.
Having completed its fifth season in its new digs, the home team and its faithful are still trying to establish a true home identity. Though the amenities and surroundings far surpass those of their previous home at Candlestick Park, there are still certain issues the team is working through.
Like any team going through transition, the cost of the game day experience can vary. With sufficient planning it is possible for a single fan to take in the full game day experience under the triple digits.
Unless you plan on a pregame tailgate, your best bet is to utilize the SCVTA light rail which drops fans off directly in front of the stadium. Prior to game day, your best bet is to stay as close to Santa Clara as possible. The team may call San Francisco home, but the reality is the City by the Bay is hardly a stone’s throw away from the Silicon Valley. You would even do best staying in San Jose prior to game day. You can always head north to San Francisco after your game day experience.
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Latest Crowd Reviews
Featuring unique design elements, creative sight lines, and reliable technology characteristics all packaged in an airy inclusive environment, Levi’s Stadium provides an incredibly fulfilling experience.