SC Stadium to Host Special Events
Taylor Price, 49ers.com
There’s a lot of great reasons to move the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to the new Santa Clara Stadium, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers.
One of which was to make things easier on the team’s scouting department. That’s according to Gary Cavalli, the Co-Founder and only Executive Director of the Bay Area’s premier college bowl game.
Cavalli was certainly right in making the light-hearted comment at Tuesday’s press conference behind the stadium site. The bowl game’s Executive Director pointed out that the 49ers have selected players in back-to-back seasons that starred in the bowl game, both Colin Kaepernick in 2011 and A.J. Jenkins in 2012.
“That’s pretty cool,” 49ers CEO Jed York later remarked of the unique circumstance.
What’s also special about Tuesday’s announcement is what it means for 49ers season ticket holders.
With bowl organizers, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) and the 49ers coming together to form a partnership, the annual Bay Area postseason college football game will move to the New Santa ClaraStadium beginning in December 2014.
SBL owners in the new stadium will have the opportunity to see the game that features a team from the Pac-12 conference.
“We will definitely have the opportunity for our season ticket holders to come and see this game,” York said. “I think that’s one of the big draws to this game because you have a big fan-base already built in.”
“This is exciting news for our SBL owners in the new stadium,” said Al Guido, Vice President of Sales and Service for Legends Sales & Marketing, the company selected by the Stadium Authority to market the seating. “One of the great benefits of owning a SBL is priority access to non-NFL events in the new stadium.
“This allows you to purchase seats to these events before the general public. The City of Santa Clara and the 49ers organization are committed to bringing world-class events to this stadium and we look forward to offering our SBL owners unprecedented access along the way.”
Local football fans and supporters from the respective bowl teams will be able to fill the 68,500-seat new stadium to watch college football played in one of the nation’s premier outdoor entertainment venues.
“We want to continue to have a great presence of bowl games in Northern California,” York said during Monday’s press conference announcing the partnership.
With the first 49ers game set to be played in the new Stadium in August of 2014, the first college game will be played four months later.
It marks a significant step in the franchise bringing in additional sports and entertainment options to the team’s Faithful fans.
It’s also marks the first, special event set to be played at the team’s future home.
“We’ve talked about how many non-NFL events we’re going to have and to be able to have a bowl game like the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl that has a great legacy in the Bay Area, and to know we can continue to grow this over the next decade,” York explained, “it’s going to be awesome.”
Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews also took part in the festivities, much like he did in the stadium’s groundbreaking ceremony that took place just seven months ago.
Seeing the rapid pace of construction and steady collaboration is certainly appreciated by Matthews, a fifth-generation member of the Santa Clara community.
“It happens to be the first non-NFL activity and it’s such a large one,” Matthews said with a big smile. “We’re talking about large-scale. It’s going to be very exciting… Having the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl come to Santa Clara is an amazing thing.”
The bowl first started in 2002 at AT&T Park in downtown San Francisco and has grown into one of the most viewed, non-BCS bowl games every year.
Partnering with the San Francisco 49ers made all the more sense for the bowl’s executive committee.
“It opens up so many avenues for our game moving forward,” said Jack Boland, the Chairman of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl’s Board of Directors.
Cavalli agreed with his colleague.
“We believe this will be a game-changer for us,” he said.
Soon, it will be for Bay Area football fans, too.
“There are still plenty of prime locations,” said Guido, pointing out SBLs can still be secured in the new building. “Every view in the stadium is a great view.”