It’s hard to believe that in two short years, Levi’s® Stadium has transformed into a 1.85 million square foot facility that will seat 70,000 fans. As we get ready to kickoff the inaugural season with the celebration of ribbon cutting, we take a look back at all of the major construction milestones from groundbreaking to the first museum artifact installation.
On April 19, 2012, the SCSA broke ground on the New Santa Clara Stadium site and were joined by Dr. John and Denise DeBartolo York along with their son, CEO Jed York on the stadium’s 50-yard line to celebrate the official start to the stadium building project and Levi’s® Stadium as we know it.
“We’re literally laying the foundation,” said Project Executive Jack Hill as trucks from the Central Concrete Supply Company began to deliver 12-yard loads of fluid grout every 10 to 15 minutes for the first 3,000 piles to be drilled at the stadium project site.
Those piles will ensure a secure foundation for the future home of the San Francisco 49ers.
In order for the piles to be solidified, five high-torque drilling rigs from Berkel and Company Contractors drilled on average about 55 feet below the ground to make more than 3,000 piles that will now be filled over a 25-day period.
“It’s been a great team effort,” said Hill, who commended the hard-working construction workers for getting the project off and running following the team’s April 19th groundbreaking ceremony. “In the last month, we worked 24/7. What a lot of the fans don’t see is there’s 30 miles of pipe underneath the ground. The first 30 days, we spent getting all the utilities in and prepared for this day.”
The start of foundation work also means an increase of local jobs being created in the community. Currently, more than 250 workers are getting their hands dirty on the new stadium site. In addition to drilling piles, workers have been a part of the 30 miles of underground utilities that were previously installed.
Jed York couldn’t contain his excitement.
The 49ers CEO has been hard at work on the San Francisco 49ers stadium project for practically the duration of his time working for the club. So on a night before the latest, and perhaps most critical stage of the new Santa Clara Stadium project, York went to Twitter to share his enthusiasm with his followers.
“Putting up steel in the morning. Huge day for #SCStadium development,” York wrote.
Shortly after, York was one of the first on-hand to see the ceremonial first steel beam inserted into the ground at the stadium site.
In total, 14,000 pieces of steel will be erected in the coming months. And it’ll take an estimated 127,000 bolts to keep them secure.
The San Francisco 49ers have proudly celebrated each construction milestone of the new Santa Clara Stadium, the future home of the five-time Super Bowl-winning organization.
Thursday’s “Topping Out” ceremony, however, was much more of a team-wide recognition of the rapid construction of the billion-dollar outdoor sports and entertainment venue.
The joyous celebration saw a large gathering of team officials and construction workers on hand to witness two gold-painted steel beams, the highest pieces of structural steel, being placed atop the 50-yard line of the stadium’s suite tower.
“It’s great,” project executive Jack Hill said of the large turnout. “This is really a celebration of the construction workers who have gotten us to this point.”
The excitement was evident at the stadium site, now 90 percent through with its steel construction. With steel crews and iron workers soon to move away from the project in the coming weeks, Hill felt it was the perfect time to acknowledge the contributions of the many prideful workers.
In addition, the workers all signed the gold beam along with 49ers executives, players, coaches, staff members and Santa Clara city officials. It was a touching tribute to all those who contributed to the future home of the 49ers.
When it was all said and done, more than 800 signatures were on the beam, including those of coach Jim Harbaugh and his cast of talented players.
“It’s a big piece of the process,” 49ers CEO Jed York said. “It’s nice to hit a milestone and it’s nice to be able to celebrate when you hit these milestones… A lot of folks didn’t think that this could happen and I think that this is evidence that it can and that it is happening.”
The milestone was certainly appreciated by York and his front office, but it’s not the end of the hard work taking place behind the scenes.
Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) announced today that it will present the Santa Clara Stadium Authority a proposal for a 20-year, $220 million naming rights agreement for ”Levi’s® Stadium” on Thursday, May 9, 2013.
The apparel company is proposing a naming rights partnership with the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and San Francisco 49ers that would make the company an official sponsor of the 49ers, and feature premium interior and exterior branding of the new Levi’s® Stadium.
Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh said, “Levi’s® Stadium will connect two iconic Bay Area brands that share similar values, a rich heritage and a pioneering spirit. Joining the incredible legacy of the 49ers organization is a perfect fit for the Levi’s® brand – and a chance for us to engage with sports and music fans across the Bay Area and around the world.”
San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said, “49ers have worn Levi’s® jeans since the Gold Rush era. We are so honored to have the perfect partner for the premier outdoor sports and entertainment venue in the world. A model of innovation and sustainability, Levi’s® Stadium will bring to life all that is special about the Bay Area.”
The San Francisco 49ers and Levi Strauss & Co. share deep roots in Bay Area history: in 1873, Levi Strauss & Co. created the first blue jean by adding copper rivets to denim pants for the working man of the American West. The 49ers franchise has won five Super Bowl trophies and was the first major league professional sports team to be based in San Francisco more than 60 years ago.
Season Ticket Holders Take Their Seats
When Miranda Margheim, a 49ers fan since the days of Kezar Stadium, reclined in the first seat at Levi’s® Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, she offered two words.
“Very comfortable,” Margheim, who has attended three of the team’s Super Bowl appearances, said with a smile. “All of the stadiums I have seen in my life, to see this one, it’s like a dream come true.”
Margheim and her son, Steven, slid into red, “SF”-logoed seats ‘5’ and ‘6’ in a row marked 1-14 – the first at their favorite team’s new home. That’s exactly where they’ll be during the inaugural 2014 season and beyond, in the lower bowl and at about the 10-yard line.
“She’s seen a lot of different seats,” 49ers project executive Jack Hill said, referencing Margheim’s stint as a ticketholder at Kezar, where until 1970 fans literally sat on wood, and at Candlestick Park, where games have been played since ‘71. “I told her, ‘You’re not going to get splinters in these seats.”
With two quick triggers of a drill screwing the steel brackets, attached to the base of the plastic chairs, onto an aluminum rail (all recyclable materials, mind you), the installation was quickly over.
They’re the first of 68,500 seats to be placed within the next nine months, a span over which 17,000 man hours will be racked up. (Levi’s® capacity jumps to 75,000 for special events like Super Bowl L, Margheim’s fourth, in 2016.)
The 17-foot tall and 86-foot wide “Levi’s® Stadium” sign topped the southend video board, which marked a significant milestone as the stadium began to take shape.
Chef Michael Mina, one of the country’s greatest culinary leaders, is pleased to announce a partnership with the new Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. As a unique evolution of his award-winning, signature steakhouse Bourbon Steak, Bourbon Steak & Pub will be a multi-level, high-end steakhouse and pub, debuting in August 2014, when the gates to the new stadium open for the season.
Known for his innovative approach to modern American cuisine and for offering the highest standards of design and service, Michael Mina conceptualized the Bourbon Steak & Pub brand specifically for Levi’s® Stadium. Open year-round, the new state-of-the-art restaurant will offer culinary theatre through an open kitchen design featuring a wood-burning grill, a seafood action station, and a one-of-a-kind 13-foot tall, fully rotating rotisserie. The showstopper will be the procession of several seafood mega-pots delivered to their front-row boil stations via a ceiling mounted gantry track, an industry first. Whimsical plays on pub-style dishes, such as the Peanut Butter Crunch Burger and Bacon-wrapped Wagyu Dog, will be joined by Bourbon Steak signatures including Dry Aged Brandt Farms steaks, the freshest local seafood, and innovative vegetable sides from famed South Bay farms.
At 49ers home games, Bourbon Steak & Pub will transform into Michael Mina’s Tailgate, a bold new membership-only experience tailor-made for 49ers season ticket holders. Inspired by Mina’s elaborate themed tailgate parties he has thrown with 49ers fans for more than two decades, Michael Mina’s Tailgate will offer the most exciting and exclusive tailgate experience in all of sports.
Located on the ground floor of Levi’s® Stadium at 4900 Marie P. DeBartolo Way, Santa Clara, Bourbon Steak & Pub will welcome Bay Area diners seven days a week, year-round, with Bourbon Pub open for lunch and dinner, and Bourbon Steak open for dinner only. Additional details on Bourbon Steak & Pub’s design and menu will be announced in 2014.
On 49ers home gamedays, Bourbon Steak & Pub will be home to the members-only Michael Mina’s Tailgate experience. For more information on membership and year-round benefits, please click here or call 415-GO-49ers, extension #1.
Levi’s® Stadium has its field goal posts.
A crew led by 49ers director of engineering operations Pat Rogan and First Down Football Products president George Wiley installed the posts at San Francisco’s new Santa Clara home on Friday morning.
They are the first automatic, collapsible posts in the NFL.
Here’s what that means: After the final whistle of 49ers home games, it will take a single member of the Levi’s® Stadium grounds crew eight seconds to lower the uprights and cross bar onto the field. All he’ll need to lay them flat on the grass is a simple drill motor. (Raising the uprights and the cross bar takes 30 seconds.)
While the posts increase safety on the field, they will also ease the stadium’s transition for non-football events. To completely remove the posts from the field, all that would be required is a two-man crew, a forklift and 30 minutes. (Re-installation could be accomplished in less than an hour.)
All that stays inside the stadium at all times are two steel structures, a trunk and a gooseneck, that serve as the posts’ base but are 18 inches below the grass, which hasn’t been installed yet.
The 49ers began installing their new natural playing surface at their new stadium at 5 a.m. this morning. Trucks carrying 42-inch strips will have brought between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet of sod into Levi’s® by the end of Thursday. The organization and its supplier, West Coast Turf (WCT), plan to complete the installation on Friday. The venue hosts its first pro sporting event on Aug. 2 before the NFL preseason gets going.
What illustrates this story best? The series of messages posted on Levi’s® Stadium’s 200-foot-wide video board during a recent afternoon tour at the 49ers new home.
San Francisco-born Scott Onick and his girlfriend of three-plus years, Sarah Cookson, are both dedicated fans of the team. Cookson’s family held season tickets to Candlestick Park starting in the 1990s, and every season, the couple makes it a point to travel to at least one away game.
On this April afternoon, however, they were visiting Levi’s® Stadium and thinking about their favorite team’s upcoming season. As far as Cookson knew, this was all they were thinking.
Onick had something else on his mind. During preparation for this day, he worried about the 49ers calling his cell phone to discuss the surprise’s unveiling so as to not “generate suspicion” from his girlfriend.
The secret was kept. Onick and Cookson strolled through the almost-complete construction site wearing hard hats, protective glasses and yellow vests, marveling at the new stadium’s rapid ascension.
After taking a group photo at the South-side Dignity Health Plaza an hour into their six-person tour, the couple’s friends backed off as instructed, giving Onick space to pop the question. Cookson saw the first video-board message before turning back to her near-future fiancé.
“Just like the 49ers are going into the next chapter,” Onick said to her while on bended knee, “this is the perfect place for us to start the next chapter of something great. Will you be my wife?”
When 49ers project executive Jack Hill Tweets, he breaks news.
On Tuesday, Hill posted a picture of construction crews beginning to install engraved bricks along Levi’s® Stadium’s Fanwalk. Fans who participated had their personalized messages engraved on red and gold bricks.
It’s not too late to buy yours.
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 35 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.
Sports & the Arts (SATA), the San Francisco 49ers, and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority are proud to announce the artists featured within the Art Collection to be installed inside Levi’s® Stadium. The collection features more than 200 pieces of original artwork and 500-plus photographs from the archives of the 49ers, and their esteemed group of team photographers and media partners. A compilation of the artists and photojournalists, along with samples of their work, can be found at www.levisstadium.com/art.
Sports & the Arts has spent two years sourcing submissions through a public “Call to Artists” and visiting Bay Area galleries, artist studios, and exhibitions in search of the most unique and inspirational forms of artwork. These original works of art were commissioned by SATA and will be installed throughout select areas of Levi’s® Stadium this June. The roster of artists includes local talent as well as established veterans that complement the diverse collection. Several of the local artists will be exhibiting their works for the first time.
Read more about the exclusive stadium Art Collection.
The 49ers Museum presented by Sony will be a first-class celebration of the 49ers’ past, present and future. Located at the north side of the stadium at street level, the 20,000 square-foot space will be the home of the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, the Morabito theater, the Denise DeBartolo York Education Center, the team’s Super Bowl Gallery, and a series of other exhibits.
Each of the museum’s galleries is being constructed to offer a unique and interactive visitor experience and once complete, the entire space will be unlike any other sports museum experience in the U.S.
Open year-round and seven days per week, the Museum’s first-year programming will include a series of public events featuring the team’s current players and alumni, an educational program that will reach 20,000 kids grades K-8, a number of special events and a celebratory grand opening in September.
The gold shovel used at groundbreaking will be the first artifact to be installed at the museum.