Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article image49ers' Levi's Stadium opens to praise and criticism

By Mike Rossi     Aug 8, 2014 in Sports
Santa Clara - It's been a long time since a new football stadium opened in the great state of California.
The year was 1967, the city was San Diego and the team was the San Diego "Super" Chargers.
Fast-forward to 2014.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, California has a new NFL stadium, courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers and the City of Santa Clara.
Though sparkling-new Levi's Stadium — a 70,000 seat, $1.3 billion dollar venue — took just 819 days to construct, it seems as though nothing was rushed, at least on the surface.
The concrete and steel facility boasts the litany of amenities now standard in today's sports entertainment world:
-Flat-screen HD TVs.
-World-class dining and concessions.
-Premium luxury seating.
-Wide concourse and pavilion areas.
-Access to public transportation
By all accounts, now should be a time of glorious celebration — a time for the 49ers management to kick back and revel in the fruits of their labor.
But life for Levi's Stadium — scheduled to host its first NFL game on August 17th — has gotten off to a rocky start, in spite of the stadium's stellar seismic rating.
Aside from the ribbon cutting ceremony getting pushed back to July 17th for construction delays, the August 2nd soft-opening — a soccer game with only 48,000 people in attendance — dabbled in disaster.
No, the field didn't collapse into a sinkhole, but plenty of little things — call them fundamentals — plagued the event from the get-go.
Some concessions ran out of basic sauces, while others exhausted more key ingredients like hot dogs by the time the soccer game had reached half-time.
Toilets designed to mitigate water usage — a particularly lovely perk given California's recent water-woes — malfunctioned, flushing continuously or in some cases overflowing.
"This is the most amazing stadium on the face of the planet,” said Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh, but the free Wi-Fi, one of the perks needed to make the stadium "amazing," didn't let all the fans in attendance log on.
In light of these more eye-level issues, most fans managed to overlook the constant roar of jet engines overhead en route to the runways of San Jose International airport — the stadium sits right in the middle of a main flight path.
Yet even with all of these annoyances, the main source of aggravation, as explained by those in attendance, was the absolutely atrocious post-game transit situation.
Some fans reportedly waited more than an hour just to exit the parking lots of the Levi's Stadium, only to get on the road and deal with the rest of their commute home.
Those brave enough to take public transportation faced even longer waits and commute times, some in excess of three hours.
Keep in mind, when the 49ers play their first regular-season home game at the stadium — Monday, September 2nd against the Chicago Bears — an additional 20,000-25,000 people will happily add to the transportation problem.
Still, these temporary short-comings won't deter the spirits of most 49ers fans who'll likely consider Levi's Stadium a "thing of beauty." And how could they not, coming from the decaying, concrete walls of ancient Candlestick Park?
The next few weeks will only shed more light on the budding successes and failures of the 49ers new home.
More about San francisco 49ers, Levi's Stadium, NFL, NFC West, Jed york
More news from
Sports Video
Latest News
Top News