Foghorn Tradition Continues at Levi’s® Stadium

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Four years ago, Jamie Brandt lived on Bay Street, which runs along the north end of San Francisco and within a couple of miles of the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Every night, when the fog rolled in, I used to listen to that foghorn blow and blow and blow,” Brandt, the San Francisco 49ers vice president of ticket operations, said. “So I fell in love with literally the sound of the foghorn for personal reasons and then did the research and found that we had some history with it as a team.”

Candlestick Park was long the home of a foghorn… but for Giants games. It wasn’t until 2012, when Brandt and now-Levi’s® Stadium engineering operations director, worked to install one at The ‘Stick for 49ers games.

“I just Googled steamship foghorns, and this is what we came up with,” said Rogan, who mirrored the process for Levi’s® Stadium’s own foghorn earlier this year.

The team started using the foghorn at The ‘Stick in ’12 to celebrate scoring plays and, with three bursts of sound, notify fans 90 minutes, 60 minutes and 30 minutes before a given game’s kickoff.

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“A ritualistic experience is what we were really shooting for, something to call our own,” Brandt said. “We wanted to be as genuine as possible, really pure San Francisco, and so we secured the same vendor that supplied the Golden Gate Bridge National Park service with its foghorn. So the sound is exactly the same.”

“This is something that is unique to us. It’s something that everybody who is from here knows it as soon as they hear it.”

Now Levi’s® Stadium has its own foghorn, painted red and installed under the south-side video board. The Kahlenberg-made foghorn type is built for 200 meter-plus ships and can blow 130 decibels for 22 seconds straight. (A jet engine is at the 140-decibel level from 100 feet away, according to this comparison chart.) When the Wisconsin-based company shipped the foghorn to the 49ers, it included Green Bay Packers paraphernalia in the boxes. (It was quickly tossed in the garbage.) The aluminum, approximately-50-pound foghorn was then painted 49er red.

There will be a new spin on its tradition at the 49ers new home: An “energizer of the game” each week will energize it before kickoff.

We asked 49ers vice president and executive producer Robert Alberino Jr. for some details.

“Who will this “energizer” be? That changes for every home game,” Alberino said. “Expect notable alumni, celebrities, musicians, team dignitaries and maybe a super fan or two. Regardless, it’s the one moment to unify The Faithful right before the ball is kicked off.”

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