15 Things to Know about 49ers Seats at Levi’s® Stadium

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The last seat is in at Levi’s® Stadium.

Before it and every other chair in the San Francisco 49ers new home is filled this summer, here are 15 things to know.

1. The 49ers, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and Camatic Seating have been working together since November 2012, when the formal bidding process was concluded.

2. Camatic, an Australia-based, six-decade-old company, reconfigured the Sydney Super Dome’s seating in preparation for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Vice president Ken Griffiths also worked to furnish the Seattle Seahawks CenturyLink Field when it opened in 2002, the Chicago Bears Soldier Field in ‘03 and the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium in ‘09, when Griffiths met 49ers project executive Jack Hill.

3. Griffiths proposed to Hill an enhanced design of the same flexible concept that the Seahawks and Cowboys employed. “It’s a simple mechanism of loosening the chair on the beam and sliding it along the beam and dropping on another chair.”

4. The greatest advantage to this beam-mount system is easy expansion. When the Levi’s® Stadium hosts Super Bowl L, for example, they can add 6,500-plus of seats to their expected 68,500 capacity.

5. At Levi’s® Stadium, there will be more than 56,000 seats in general sections (including about 45,000 in the lower bowl), over 9,000 on the club level and 2,000 in the suites.

6. The lower bowl comprises 58 rows of seats; the first row is 10 feet from the field.

7. Another plus to the seats: the ease of maintenance. Unless a fan purposefully attempts to damage a seat, it will stand the test of time, as Camatic’s products in other venues have. “This seat will provide a quantum leap, pardon the term – the Levi’s® Stadium chair is called the Quantum – in comfort,” Griffiths said. “We spend a lot of time on the ergonomics of the chair and the seating profile of the chair for maximum support for the patron.”

8. Unlike the seats at Candlestick Park, Camatic’s don’t use springs, which wear out and change the angle of the seat’s tilt. “Every seat will tilt to the same position,” Griffiths said.

9. Unlike any seat back Camatic has designed before, those at Levi’s® Stadium are festooned with a hook to store personal handbags and recycling bags. Of course, the seats will also have cup-holders.

10. The stadium has ordered 588 chairs for attic stock; they could employed for bigger events.

11. While most fans will sit in either a red Quantum-style seat or upholstered Forte Club style seat, those on the suite level will sit in a gold Activa high-back chair.

12. For the first time, the Australian-based company manufactured its seats locally. A Hayward, Calif. plant pumped out 2,000 a week and caravanned them to the stadium to be installed.

13. Five chairs were put in per man-hour during the eight-month-long installation process, Griffiths said. More than 15,000 man-hours in all.

14. Camatic installed the last seat on May 22. All seats were on site by the end of April and installed on time. Griffiths and his team will work on site into the summer to make any necessary tweaks.

15. The very first seat, you might remember, was installed eight months ago on Oct. 1, when longtime season-ticket holder Miranda Margheim and her son, Steven, slid into an SF-logoed seats 5 and 6 in the lower bowl and at about the 10-yard line.

–Andrew Pentis

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