18 Things We Learned about New Stadium

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Before taking members of the 49ers media corps on a tour Wednesday afternoon, project executive Jack Hill compared Levi’s® Stadium to a house.

The walls are up, he said. The furniture’s coming in. A fresh coat of paint is on the way.

With the countdown clock ticking, San Francisco’s new Santa Clara-based home is about 80 percent complete and on track for its summertime ribbon-cutting.

Thanks to Hill and his de facto tour guides – president Paraag Marathe, chief operating officer Al Guido and public relations director Bob Lange – we at 49ers.com learned 18 things about the new ballpark.

Here they are:

1. The stadium’s lower bowl will have 35 rows of seats; the first row will be about 10 feet away from the playing surface.

2. There will be 18,000 seats in the upper level; 45,000 more on the lower bowl; about 60 percent of the red seats have been installed.

3. Hill said he expected the stadium’s natural grass, which has been growing for more than a year at West Coast Turf in Livingston, Calif., will arrive by April 1; Bermuda Bandera, the chosen type, is shade-tolerant and known for rebounding quickly.

4. All three of the NRG Energy walking bridges on the west side of the building have been installed.

5. The 20,000-square foot 49ers Museum Presented by Sony will feature team history and new exhibits, yes, but it will also include sports education programs for youths, Marathe said. Expect school buses full of kids taking field trips to the site Monday through Friday.

6. The museum, as well as the nearby 49ers Team Store and Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak & Pub Restaurant, will be open and accessible seven days a week.

7. The 49ers next locker room will feature 10-foot-tall walnut-wood lockers.

8. In addition to a hot tub and a cold tub in the new training era, there will be a hydrotherapy pool for rehabbing players. One feature includes being able to run on a treadmill under water.

9. When players exit the locker room, their entrance to the field will be just on their right and will take them past fans standing in the 50-yard line field club area.

10. The team’s press conference room, situated across the hall from the locker room, will feature theatre seating.

11. The press level can accommodate up to seven radio broadcasts, including for Spanish-language broadcasts.

12. At 48 feet tall and 200 feet wide, the stadium’s two video scoreboards are the largest of their kind in outdoor arenas.

13. The first of 3,000 TV monitors was slated to be installed on the 700 level of the stadium on Wednesday.

14. The Legacy Club’s origami-looking roof is made of tulip wood.

15. The Champions Club, the stadium’s largest, will be 120 feet wide (the length of a football field) and just beyond the lower level’s 35th row.

16. The lofted Levi’s 501 Club sits right above the stadium’s biggest craft beer bar.

17. Six elevators will service the stadium’s tower, where 108 of the stadium’s 176 suites are located. Many of the suites, already with carpeting and retractable glass windows facing the field, are only missing furniture and TVs; we saw one with a refrigerator.

18. The stadium’s first scheduled event will be an MLS game between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 2.

–Andrew Pentis, 49ers.com

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