Levi’s Stadium’s facilities are an upgrade on outdated Candlestick Park

September 4, 2014 — by Lauren Louie and Arman Vaziri

After negotiations with the city of San Francisco about building a new stadium at Candlestick Point failed in 2006, the San Francisco 49ers decided to move locations from their old iconic stadium, Candlestick Park, to Santa Clara. After two years of construction and a cost of $1.3 billion, Levi’s Stadium finally opened to the public on July 17.

After negotiations with the city of San Francisco about building a new stadium at Candlestick Point failed in 2006, the San Francisco 49ers decided to move locations from their old iconic stadium, Candlestick Park, to Santa Clara. After two years of construction and a cost of $1.3 billion, Levi’s Stadium finally opened to the public on July 17.

The team moved because of Candlestick Park’s outdated facilities and poor location. They decided to leave their home stadium after rejecting San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposal that they build a new stadium at the problematic Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

On Aug. 2, freshman Vikram Iyer attended the stadium’s inaugural event, a Major League Soccer (MLS) game between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders that the home team won 1-0.

In contrast to the Earthquakes’ success, the 49ers’ first home preseason game on Aug. 17 ended in defeat against the Denver Broncos, who won 34-0.

“The game was really anticlimactic, considering the fact that the 49ers didn’t score one time,” said senior Sherrilyn Ling. “But it was such a great experience because I get to look back and say that I was at the very first [football] event that ever took place at the Levi Stadium.”

Despite not even having been open for two months, the stadium is already experiencing difficulties. The day after the first preseason game, grounds crews ripped up all of the Bermuda grass, which had started to tear out of the ground in big chunks after the first couple of games had been played on it.

With time running against them, the crew has barely had enough time to slightly alter the base of the grass and are hoping that the newly planted grass will both look and function well before the 49ers play their season opening game against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 14.  

Also, lack of parking has been an issue. To counter this issue, the Santa Clara city government is using spaces at Great America and the Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club for parking. Officials urge fans to use public transportation if at all possible..

“My mom had to drop me, my dad and my half-brother off about half a mile away from the stadium because the traffic was so bad,” Ling said.

Despite these early setbacks, the stadium is set to make history by hosting the Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. The last Super Bowl held in the Bay Area was Super Bowl XIX in 1985.

“I was shocked at how many people the stadium could seat,” Ling said.

The 49ers’ old home, Candlestick Park is now set to be demolished in the near future as it is no longer the home of any team or other organization. However, despite early flaws, Levi’s Stadium is undeniably an upgrade on Candlestick Park due to having better seating arrangements and the ability to host different events.

“There were more people, the bathrooms were nicer and the food was better [at Levi’s Stadium]” Iyer said. “The atmosphere was much better.”

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