SBD/August 5, 2014/Facilities

49ers Sticking To Transportation Plans For NFL Games Despite Problems At MLS Match

Some fans complained of long waits to exit the stadium parking lots
Levi's Stadium produced "agonizing postgame traffic jams and long lines at light-rail stations" following Saturday's Earthquakes-Sounders match, the first event at the venue, but the 49ers yesterday said that they will "stick to their transportation game plan" for the first preseason game Aug. 17, according to a front-page piece by Michael Cabantuan of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Team officials said that they will "review the results -- including fan complaints" -- from Saturday's game and "decide how to improve what some fans described as postgame chaos." While some people "reported smooth postgame travels, others complained of waiting for an hour to get out of parking lots, while transit riders bemoaned similar waits to get on slow-moving light-rail trains." Despite the delays and a few problems before the match, 49ers VP/Stadium Operations & Security Jim Mercurio said that the team was "pleased with the stadium's opening performance." Mercurio: "It was a good experience for the most part. We know people were frustrated, and we're going to make changes. But we did a lot of things right." Cabantuan reports Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority officials also "promised to make improvements, but boasted that the system hauled more than 9,000 people to the stadium." Saturday's match "drew 48,765 fans, compared with the 70,000 expected for NFL games." But it "ended up being more of a test run for the team than envisioned." The Great America amusement park, located next to the stadium, "staged a popular event Saturday that filled its main parking lot -- and dumped thousands of cars onto the streets about the same time as the game ended." Great America will be "closed during all 10 of the games the 49ers play at Levi's Stadium" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/5).

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: In S.F., Ann Killion writes Saturday's Sounders-Earthquakes game was a "test run" for the new venue, and "on many levels -- primarily transportation -- the test was a failure." However, based on feedback from readers, "plenty of people had easy and fun experiences and were duly impressed by the state-of-the-art stadium." Killion: "From the feedback I've received, it sounds as though if you arrived prior to 5:30 p.m. ... it was a breeze" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/5).
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