Levi's Stadium Represents An Unbelievable Change For The 49ers

Levi's Stadium 165 luxury suites 8,500 club seatsLast month, the San Francisco 49ers opened the plush and very high tech Levi's Stadium, located in the San Jose adjacent city of Santa Clara (CA), at a cost of $1.2 billion. The venue sits on virtually the same plot of land as the Marie P. DeBartolo Sports Centre, the team's headquarters and practice facility home since 1988.

From 1971 through 2013, the 49ers played at Candlestick Park, in the Hunters Point section of San Francisco. Candlestick was known for its high winds, cool temperatures and out-of-date condition. Situated 38 miles south of the 49ers old home, and away from the notoriously unique San Francisco weather patterns, early season temps could be as much as 5 to 10 degrees warmer than before. During the winter months, Santa Clara can average two inches less rainfall than the nearby City by the Bay.  

Candlestick was an old-fashioned, cookie-cutter stadium, with no club seats and limited luxury boxes. In comparison, the new venue houses 8,500 club seats (zero at Candlestick) and 165 luxury suites (94 at Candlestick). Perhaps the best new fan amenities involve the fact that the concourses at Levi's are more than three times wider than Candlestick, while possessing nearly 300 more bathroom fixtures. The stadium also houses a 49ers Hall of Fame.

Due to its Silicon Valley setting, the technology available at Levi's sets the stadium apart. Features include facility-wide Wi-Fi, an in game stadium app, allowing fans to view updated stats and replays, with personal choice replays available via the stadium's 13 cameras. Fans can even use the app to order food and merchandise to their seat.

For those looking to access a bigger screen, Levi's two High Definition video boards boast roughly 19,000-square-feet of area, with 2,200 flat-screen monitors also present throughout the building.

In addition, the stadium is one of the most environmentally friendly sports venues in the world.

Besides NFL games, Levi's will also host soccer matches,  high school and college football contests, including this season's  Pac-12 Championship Game, WrestleMania 31, an upcoming NHL Winter Classic game and Super Bowl 50, scheduled for 2016.

One downside to the new digs is that the average ticket price will be around $600 (on the resale market), placing it among the most expensive in the NFL. At the end of the day though, the 49ers will have moved from one of the worst stadiums in sports to one of the best and most innovative.  

For an even more in depth look at Levi's Stadium, check out pages 22 through 46 of the 2014 49ers media guide. The pictures alone are worth the look.  

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