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SBD/July 18, 2014/Facilities
Goodell Suggests Raiders Become Co-Tenants With 49ers At New Levi's Stadium
Published July 18, 2014
GOLD RUSH: In San Jose, Mike Rosenberg notes the 49ers on Thursday officially opened Levi's Stadium with a "showstopping ceremony." In typical NFL tradition, the ribbon-cutting ceremony "had all the pageantry of the April 2012 groundbreaking event, which also felt like a Super Bowl half-time show." After 49ers CEO Jed York and Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews "officially cut the long red ribbon outside the south entrance," thousands of white, red and gold pieces of confetti "burst into the air." The ceremony marked the "opening of the first new NFL stadium in California" since '67 in San Diego. Despite the ceremony, there "is still work left to be done before the first event" -- an Aug. 2 Earthquakes match -- and also before the 49ers "take the field afterward for their first preseason game Aug. 17, and the first regular-season game Sept. 14." A 49ers museum and HOF area and the new Michael Mina restaurant "are both unfinished" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/18). Also in San Jose, Mark Purdy in a front-page piece notes while some "work remains to be done on the stadium," if the 49ers "needed to play there this weekend, they could." Throughout the stadium there "are nifty little touches that jump out, such as the concourse around the lower deck with concessions and restrooms being 63 feet from side to side, more than three times wider than the Candlestick Park concourses." There also is an "express lane" outer concourse "dedicated solely to walking the stadium perimeter, for people who want to reach the opposite side without fighting cross-traffic from fans in line for food or toilets." And there are "the big touches that blow you away, such as that 'far beyond different' rooftop hospitality area high amidst the stadium light towers that features an eco-garden and amazing views" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/18).
IS BIGGER BETTER? In S.F., Ann Killion notes Levi's Stadium is "an enormous $1.2 billion structure of steel and concrete and corporate branding." It is "full of wow factors, most notably two overwhelming HD video boards at either end of the stadium, the most notable parts of the building's profile." But there is "a reason that NFL stadiums are not known for their charm." It is "not the same as the romantic journey baseball fans make to the nation's ballparks." NFL stadiums "are big, impersonal, infrequently used and tend to be the same, depending on what era they were built in." Levi's Stadium "doesn't offer anything to make it the NFL's equivalent of AT&T Park" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/18).