Q&A with Gideon Yu
Team President Gideon Yu recently took part in the latest milestone for the future home of the San Francisco 49ers. With Monday afternoon marking the installation of precast concrete for the new Santa Clara Stadium, Yu spoke with 49ers.com about the rapid pace and early success of the billion-dollar project.
The project is near and dear to the team’s President. Since joining the 49ers in April of 2011, Yu has been at the forefront for all business, financial and strategic operations for the five-time Super Bowl Champion organization. The former Chief Financial Officer of both Facebook and YouTube has also been heavily involved in leading the technology vision for the future home of the 49ers. Yu discussed his excitement for the stadium project and the team’s green vision for the building in this Q&A session from the installation event.
Q: With the latest milestone of the stadium project featuring the precast concrete installation taking place, what’s it like for you to see the latest phase of the new Santa Clara Stadium project take shape before your eyes?
A: I’m super excited about today. This is the culmination of many, many years of hard work and planning. We are now 80 percent done on the steel frame. What the fans will see by the end of the year, probably mid-December, the entire steel frame will be built for the stadium. It will look like a real stadium at that point.
Q: While working for the 49ers you’re able to see how the construction site looks on a day-to-day basis, but are you amazed at how fast the project is being completed?
A: It’s incredible. I’ve been here now for almost two years, about a year and a half, and it was still then a dream that we’d get this done by ’15, not 2014. And so by the time we got the financing done and now we’re six months past the actual groundbreaking, it’s amazing to see how fast this thing comes up. Think about this – 80 percent done with the steel in sixth months – that breaks all sorts of crazy records set by our (construction) team that’s already doing this.
Q: As the President of the 49ers, how much have you appreciated the collaboration and consistent hard-work on the project from the City of Santa Clara, the construction companies working on the project and the hundreds of workers on the site each day?
A: One of the things we like to do with the 49ers is make sure we surround ourselves with the best people. We put the best plan in place and we execute ruthlessly and intently. Between Turner/Devcon, HNTB, our architects, and all the great guys here, (project executive) Jack Hill, Dave Masel (Turner/Devcon’s Director of Field Operations), we have the best team on the project and they’re doing great together.
Q: With the rapid pace of the stadium construction, what technology work has been taking place behind the scenes to match the state-of-the-art outdoor entertainment venue?
A: The thing that you don’t see is the fact that there are a lot of people across the street in our corporate office working very hard on the green vision of the building, the tech vision of the building, we’ve hired some great guys to help us build that tech program – whether it be mobile applications or WI-FI or in-seat delivery. We’ve have a lot to do between now and ’14 but we’ll get it all done.