SBD/August 4, 2011/Facilities

49ers Unveil Drawings, Model Of Proposed Santa Clara Stadium

The 49ers yesterday "unveiled another set of drawings and a new scale model of the stadium they hope to build in Santa Clara," according to Bruce Newman of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. There will be "more seats close to the field than in any other NFL stadium" as a result of "eliminating the customary encirclement of club level suites in favor of a stacked tower of them on one side of the field." HNTB Design Dir Fernando Vazquez "brought pictures of ancient Roman amphitheaters, whose C-shaped seating bowl and proscenium structure bear a remarkable resemblance to the new stadium's design." Vazquez: "We love the metaphor because we think the 49ers' style of play elevated the game to a beautiful thing." However, when asked if he "had the Roman Coliseum specifically in mind during the stadium's design," Vazquez said that he preferred "not to have his metaphor mixed up with a stadium whose primary purpose was ritual slaughter." Meanwhile, 49ers COO Paraag Marathe said, "Being in the birthplace of technology, our hope for the stadium was that it becomes a manifestation of everything Silicon Valley represents" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/4). In Sacramento, Matthew Barrows writes it is "clear that the overarching design idea -- from wide plazas to solar panels to a green, rooftop terrace -- is to take advantage of the South Bay's sunny weather." Vazquez: "It's never going to be a dark place or a contained space. It's going to be open" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/4). In San Jose, Cam Inman noted the "relatively open north end of the stadium ... once was to showcase a view of downtown" S.F., but it now "will usher in Bay breezes." The base of the stadium "will feature retail shops, ticket shops and the 49ers' Hall of Fame" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 8/3).

BABY STEPS: Former 49ers President Carmen Policy said that team officials "were smart to show the public that they are taking concrete steps toward building the stadium," and that by doing so they "can sell luxury boxes and sponsorship deals and drum up excitement." In a front-page piece for the S.F. CHRONICLE, Demian Bulwa notes the model unveiled yesterday is "about 2 1/2 feet long," and team officials said that its "portability would allow them to take it on the road to woo prospective ticket buyers and sponsors." Marathe said that the team thus far "has raised nearly $150 million in sales of luxury suites for the planned stadium and has hired a concessionaire" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/4).
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