Quantcast

49ers open posh, high-tech stadium in Santa Clara - abc27 WHTM

49ers open posh, high-tech stadium in Santa Clara

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Carjacked vehicle hits crowd, killing 2 children

    Carjacked vehicle hits crowd, killing 2 children

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:10:32 GMT
    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said. Two...More >>
    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her sport utility vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said....More >>
  • Fukushima study: Think about unthinkable disasters

    Fukushima study: Think about unthinkable disasters

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:56 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:56:06 GMT
    A U.S. science advisory report says a key lesson from Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident is that the nation's nuclear industry needs to focus more on the highly unlikely but super-serious worst case scenarios.More >>
    A U.S. science advisory report says Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident offers a key lesson to the nation's nuclear industry: Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios.More >>
  • Fired Ohio State band director vows to clear name

    Fired Ohio State band director vows to clear name

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:23:40 GMT
    The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
    The fired director of Ohio State University's celebrated marching band said through his attorney Friday that he has become a scapegoat for behavior occurring within the organization before his leadership and he'll...More >>
By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York got a little teary on his drive to Levi's Stadium on Thursday. His voice cracked while talking about taking his young son to games at the stadium for years to come.

Others had a different reaction upon walking into the building: Wow!

With confetti streaming down under a blue sky, the 49ers officially opened the $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara with a ribbon-cutting ceremony complete with all the opulence of their new home.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, linebacker Patrick Willis and left tackle Joe Staley joined York and others on stage to cut the ribbons.

They used oversized red scissors with gold-colored blades in keeping with team colors. Hard-hat wearing construction workers lined the steps in fluorescent yellow jackets as team employees cheered and a fog horn blared.

"This is a long time in the making," York said.

The stadium's opening put one of the NFL's flagship franchises on firm footing and planted the country's most popular sports league in technology-rich Silicon Valley for the first time.

Goodell called it a milestone for the league. He also added a twist to the ceremony by addressing the looming stadium issue just up the road in Oakland, where the Raiders have long been searching for a replacement to the outdated Coliseum.

Goodell said it's up to the Raiders to decide whether they want to try to build a stadium in Oakland or share the facility at Levi's Stadium with the 49ers - an idea York has never dismissed.

Raiders owner Mark Davis has said he doesn't want to be a renter in the 49ers' facility, which is now fitted with red seats and posters of past and present San Francisco greats.

The 49ers' new home, which is the first LEED Gold Certified stadium in the NFL for its environmentally friendly design, will hold about 68,500 fans and has the ability to expand to 75,000 for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. The facility features 165 luxury suites, 9,000 club seats and even a green roof-top deck that includes solar panels and harvested herbs for on-site food preparation.

Free Wi-Fi will be available at the stadium, and a smartphone application will allow fans to have food delivered to any seat and check waiting lines at concession stands and bathrooms.

"The stadium reflects the greatness of the region, the technology and the innovation," Goodell said.

The seats in the lower bowl will hold some 45,000, or two-thirds of stadium capacity, and will be the largest first level in the NFL. All club levels look out to the field in one direction and the surrounding valley and mountains in another. It's 35 rows up to the first club seating area, while Row 1 of the stadium is about 10 feet off the field.

The only lingering stadium concerns from most 49ers fans involve the traffic in an already congested area and rising ticket prices.

And, of course, some are still bitter about the team leaving San Francisco, where the team tried and failed for decades to get a new stadium.

Levi's Stadium, steps away from the 49ers' practice facility, is about 45 miles south of downtown San Francisco - the longest distance any team in the league has to the city that bears its name. The 49ers had played in San Francisco since their establishment in 1946, including the past 43 years at Candlestick Park, as the team won all five of its Super Bowl titles.

The whipping wind and cold air from the city's famous fog made conditions constantly change at Candlestick, which is set to be demolished. That's far from the near year-round sunshine - and temperatures that can be 20-25 degrees warmer - in Santa Clara, where most players and coaches already live.

The 49ers will host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the first preseason game at Levi's Stadium on Aug. 17. The first regular-season game will be against Chicago on Sept. 14, a Sunday night.

The first event at Levi's Stadium will be a Major League Soccer game between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 2.

Other major events include the Pac-12 championship game, the upgraded San Francisco bowl game - formerly known as the Fight Hunger Bowl - and a regular-season college football game between California and Oregon.

York said the only promise he has not delivered on with the stadium is a Super Bowl title, and he joked with players and coaches in attendance that there's "no pressure, guys."

He also said the 49ers will hold a parade on Market Street in San Francisco when - not if - they win another Super Bowl title.

"Now," he said, "it's time to make some new memories in our new home."

___

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow