Levi's Stadium

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Levi's Stadium
The Field of Jeans[1]
49ers New Stadium 2 2013-07-11.jpg
Location4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way,
Santa Clara, California[2]
Broke groundApril 19, 2012[3]
OpenedJuly 11, 2014 [3]
OwnerSanta Clara Stadium Authority
OperatorSanta Clara Stadium Authority
SurfaceBermuda Bandera grass[4][5]
Construction cost$1.2 billion (est)[3]
Project managerHatheway Consulting LLC.[6]
Structural engineerMagnusson Klemencic Associates[7]
Services engineerM–E Engineers, Inc.[8]
General contractorTurner/Devcon JV[9][10]
Capacity68,500 (expandable to 75,000)
Executive suites176
San Francisco 49ers (NFL) (2014– )
Fight Hunger Bowl (NCAA) (2014– )
  (Redirected from Santa Clara Stadium)
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Levi's Stadium
The Field of Jeans[1]
49ers New Stadium 2 2013-07-11.jpg
Location4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way,
Santa Clara, California[2]
Broke groundApril 19, 2012[3]
OpenedJuly 11, 2014 [3]
OwnerSanta Clara Stadium Authority
OperatorSanta Clara Stadium Authority
SurfaceBermuda Bandera grass[4][5]
Construction cost$1.2 billion (est)[3]
Project managerHatheway Consulting LLC.[6]
Structural engineerMagnusson Klemencic Associates[7]
Services engineerM–E Engineers, Inc.[8]
General contractorTurner/Devcon JV[9][10]
Capacity68,500 (expandable to 75,000)
Executive suites176
San Francisco 49ers (NFL) (2014– )
Fight Hunger Bowl (NCAA) (2014– )
Levi's Stadium is located in United States
Levi's Stadium
Levi's Stadium
Location in the United States

Levi's Stadium is a football stadium under construction in Santa Clara, California, as the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. Completion is expected in time for the 2014 National Football League (NFL) season. It will be 38.3 miles (62 km) from San Francisco, the farthest distance of any NFL stadium from its team's home city.

The 49ers initially proposed in 2006 to construct a new stadium at Candlestick Point in San Francisco, the site of their current venue, Candlestick Park. The project, which included plans for retail space and housing improvements, was considered to have been of great potential benefit to the nearby historically blighted neighborhood of Hunters Point. After negotiations with the city of San Francisco fell through, the 49ers focused their attention on a site near their administrative offices and training facility in Santa Clara.

In June 2010, Santa Clara voters approved a measure allowing the city to lease land to the 49ers Stadium Authority to construct a new football stadium. The necessary funds were secured in December 2011, allowing construction to start in April 2012.[3]

The stadium will also be the new home of college football's annual Fight Hunger Bowl.[11]

On May 21, 2013, it was announced that Super Bowl L would be hosted at the new stadium on February 7, 2016.[12][13]

On December 9, 2013, it was announced that WrestleMania 31 would be held in the stadium on March 29, 2015.[14]

Stadium design[edit]

The stadium was designed by HNTB, an internationally renowned architecture firm, with a focus on creating a multi-purpose venue, with fan experience and green technology as top priorities. Civil design is by the non-minority firm Winzler & Kelly, which was acquired by GHD Group in 2011.

Basic stadium features[edit]

The Santa Clara stadium will be an open stadium with a natural grass field. It will have a seating capacity of 68,500, expandable to approximately 75,000 to host major events like WrestleMania, Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup. The seating design of the stadium puts approximately two‐thirds of the fans in the lower bowl. It will be one of the largest lower bowls in the entire NFL. The design features significantly improved accessibility and seating options for fans with special needs and disabilities when compared to Candlestick Park. The configuration is similar to Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions, with the majority of the luxury suites on one side of the field, which puts the fans in the upper deck closer to the action.

As a multi-use facility, the stadium can be configured for special touring events including concerts, motocross events, and other community events. The stadium is also designed to meet the FIFA field geometry requirements for international soccer, which will allow it to host international friendly matches and major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup. The stadium will also feature over 109,000 square feet (10,100 m2) of flexible premium meeting space in the club areas.[15]

Environmental sustainability[edit]

Stadium proponents and those who expect to profit from the construction of the stadium claim that "The stadium is currently one of the largest buildings registered with the US Green Building Council; it is also believed to be the first stadium that will have both a green roof and solar panels. The 49ers are exploring collaborative opportunities with the Environmental Protection Agency to explore environmentally friendly components including:[15]

Naming rights[edit]

On May 8, 2013, the 49ers announced that San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. purchased the naming rights to the new stadium. The naming rights deal calls for Levi's to pay $220.3 million to the city of Santa Clara and the 49ers over 20 years, with an option to extend the deal for another five years for around $75 million.[16]

Previous plans[edit]

The San Francisco 49ers have played at Candlestick Park since 1971. The stadium was a sentimental fan favorite and housed all 5 Super Bowl Championship teams. It was, however, the oldest unrenovated stadium in the NFL and was beginning to show its age.

The 49ers have been pursuing a new stadium since 1997, when a plan for a stadium and a mall at Candlestick Point passed a public vote. When the plans failed to move forward, the San Francisco 49ers presented an alternative plan on July 18, 2006, to construct a new 68,500-seat, open air stadium as part of a mixed use development featuring housing, commercial and retail space. In November 2006 the team announced that plans for a new stadium at Candlestick Point was not feasible, “citing extensive costs for infrastructure, parking accommodations and other changes that would cost more than the stadium itself”.[17] The 49ers turned their focus to making Santa Clara the home to their new stadium.

The 1997 plan[edit]

San Francisco voters in 1997 approved $100 million in city spending to build a new stadium and an attached shopping mall at Candlestick Point. However, even after voter approval to grant economic help for the project, the stadium was not constructed as the project failed to get off the ground. This was because owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. was facing legal troubles, which led him to surrender ownership of the team over to his sister Denise DeBartolo York and brother-in-law John York. Mills Corporation, the company tapped by the 49ers, was unable to put together a plan to successfully construct a new stadium for the team.[18] NFL owners had gone as far as awarding the new stadium the rights to host Super Bowl XXXVII. When the stadium plans stalled, the game went to Qualcomm Stadium instead.

For years, the city and team ownership were embattled over attempts to gain funding and a green-light for construction of a new stadium. None of these attempts proved to be successful.

The 2006 plan[edit]

The city of San Francisco received a new incentive to get a new stadium built. Mayor Gavin Newsom wanted to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to the city, and a new stadium would sweeten the city's proposal for selection by the United States Olympic Committee as the official US submission to the IOC. The announcement came in November 2006, with the new 49ers stadium as the centerpiece of an Olympics bid, and the construction of the Olympic village would be converted into low-income housing after the games were over.[19]

The new 68,500-seat stadium was to be built at Candlestick Point on land just southeast of Candlestick Park. The cost of the stadium would be $916 million. Lennar Corporation would build housing, retail, and office space around the stadium area.[18] Originally, part of the area surrounding the current 49ers venue, Candlestick Park, was to be zoned for retail space and housing; the new 49ers stadium was to be combined with such elements, bringing much-needed attractions to the historically blighted neighborhood of Hunters Point.[20]

The stadium would be stocked with 150 luxury suites, 7,500 premium club seats, and an increased amount of seats lower and closer to the field, called "bowl seating," potentially raising the 49ers franchise value up as much as $250 million and offering at least $300 million in advertising and concession deals, the majority of which from paid corporate naming.[21] The architectural design would be reminiscent of San Francisco buildings.

The project planning did not get off to a good start, however, with contention between the 49ers and the city of San Francisco over viable locations for the new stadium. Initially, the idea was to build a stadium in the parking lot of Candlestick Park and later demolish the aging stadium. Team ownership feared that construction of the village and the stadium would severely limit the amount of land available in Candlestick Point, creating a parking problem for fans and increasing traffic along the roads that link the stadium to the freeway. Moreover, with residents in the low-income housing by 2016, traffic would be increased indefinitely, further damaging the already-limited methods of transportation to the park.[22]

With San Francisco slow to come up with better locations for the stadium or ways to circumvent the problems posed by a construction at Candlestick Point, team owners Denise DeBartolo York and John York announced on November 9, 2006, that the 49ers were shifting its efforts to create a new stadium to the city of Santa Clara, approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of San Francisco (and home to the team offices and training facility since 1987).

The sudden removal of the planned stadium forced the San Francisco Olympics bid group to cancel its proposal,[23] which engendered great anger not only from Mayor Newsom, but also from such 49ers legends as Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott who were part of the effort to bring the Olympics to the Bay Area. In addition, many fans were outraged at the suggestion to move the 49ers out of the city that it had shared history with for decades. The Yorks insisted that the legacy of the franchise would be respected in the sense that the 49ers would not be renamed nor moved out of the Bay Area. This was met with much opposition from Mayor Newsom and Senator Dianne Feinstein (who was mayor of San Francisco between 1978 and 1988); the senator stated that the team should be unable to use the San Francisco name if its operations were not based in the city.[24][dead link] On January 3, 2007, California State Senator Carole Migden introduced a bill, entitled SB49, that would bar the 49ers from building a new stadium within a 100-mile (160 km) radius of San Francisco, if they were to leave the city. The 49ers organization announced its strong opposition to the legislation and retorted that passing such a bill would only encourage the team to move out of the Bay Area altogether.[25]

Santa Clara city council negotiations[edit]

The Santa Clara stadium project has been in the works since 2007, with negotiations beginning in 2008. Two years have produced the following documents that were key to understanding the stadium deal that went before the voters of Santa Clara on June 8, 2010. All documents cited below are publicly available on the City of Santa Clara’s website.

Most city council members in Santa Clara were extremely receptive to the possibility of a new stadium being constructed there for the 49ers. In 2009, the Santa Clara City Council, led by Mayor Patricia Mahan, along with city employees began negotiating in earnest with the team, who presented the city with stadium plans. On June 2, 2009, by a 5 to 2 vote, the Santa Clara city council agreed to preliminary terms (as detailed in a term sheet[30]). The official term sheet states that the team's name will not change; the team will continue to be called the San Francisco 49ers even when the move to Santa Clara is complete.[31][32][dead link]

The campaign[edit]

Santa Clara stadium campaign[edit]

The Santa Clara stadium is currently under construction on a city-owned parking lot on Tasman Drive, located adjacent to the north of California's Great America theme park and leased to Great America for overflow parking.

In December 2009, the owner of the theme park filed a lawsuit to stop the project from proceeding.[33][dead link] However, the lawsuit was dismissed in court.

On December 15, 2009, the Santa Clara City Council voted 5 to 2 to withdraw their city-sponsored ballot measure on the stadium issue in favor of a ballot initiative, Measure J.[34] The ballot initiative was voted on on June 8, 2010 and passed by 58% of Santa Clara voters.[35][36] Santa Clara City Council members William Kennedy and Jamie McLeod had opposed the stadium project and worked (unsuccessfully) to get Measure J defeated.[37]

Measure J: June 8, 2010[edit]

Measure J is a binding, voter-initiated measure that was approved by voters in the City of Santa Clara. All documents cited below are publicly available on the City of Santa Clara’s official website.

Election results[edit]

Measure J (June 8, 2010)
ChoiceVotes %
Referendum passed Yes14,78258.2%
Total votes25,133100.00%

Election results via the Santa Clara County Website.

Oakland Raiders as possible co-tenants[edit]

There was a possibility that the 49ers' Bay Area rivals, the Oakland Raiders, might share the stadium, allowing its costs to be split between the two teams.[40] The 49ers[40] and Raiders[41] have publicly said it would be an option if possible, while NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is strongly in favor of the two sharing a stadium.[42] Fans of both teams reacted negatively to the idea. Along with the New York metropolitan area (where the New York Giants and New York Jets shared Giants Stadium from 1984–2009 and currently share its successor, MetLife Stadium, which both teams financed), the Bay Area is one of two NFL markets with two teams.

The 49ers and Raiders sharing a stadium would not be unprecedented, as the two shared Kezar Stadium for part of 1960.[43] It would also fulfill the late Raiders owner Al Davis' elusive goal of a new stadium, something he had strongly desired since moving the team from Los Angeles back to Oakland in 1995.[44] The Raiders, as it stands, play at O.co Coliseum and are the only NFL team still sharing its home field with a Major League Baseball team (except for the Buffalo Bills' annual game at Rogers Centre in Toronto); the Raiders' lease on the Coliseum expires after the 2013 season.[45]

In the wake of Davis' death, the possibility of the 49ers and Raiders sharing the stadium became a stronger possibility, as the Raiders would be more receptive to the idea. However, by October 2011, the 49ers were far enough along on the stadium to have reportedly already sold over a quarter of the luxury suites, meaning the Raiders would be forced to be secondary tenants.[46] In October 2012, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis told reporters he had no plans to share the Santa Clara stadium with the 49ers. According to the report, discussions have remained open, although Davis wants to keep the team in Oakland, or a nearby site in Dublin, California.[47]

Financing and construction[edit]

In December 2011, the Santa Clara City Council voted for an agreement that calls for the city’s Stadium Authority to borrow $850,000,000 from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and U.S. Bank. This will cover most of the construction costs, with the remainder to be made up via funding from the NFL, a hotel tax and city redevelopment funds. Interest, fees and terms for this loan have not been disclosed.[48][dead link][49] The $850,000,000 building loan, plus interest and fees will be assumed by the City's Stadium Authority, where additional interest and fees will be applied. On February 2, 2012, NFL owners approved a loan to the 49ers of $200,000,000, for use in constructing the new stadium, and to be taken from a new G-4 stadium loan fund.[50] Terms of the loan were not specified, but under the previous G-3 plan, money was repaid directly into the league's account from the borrowing team's share of gate receipts from road games.


Levi's Stadium under construction, July 11, 2013

Construction began soon after funding for the stadium had been confirmed. The official groundbreaking took place on April 19, 2012.[3] On July 30, 2012, the first steel beams for the stadium were laid down.[51] The first seats in Levi's Stadium were installed on October 1, 2013.

Construction was halted on June 11, 2013, after a mechanic working on an elevator was struck by a counterweight and then fell down the shaft to his death.[52] Work resumed two days later after officials from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) declared the site safe, but as of October 2013, the accident remained under investigation.[53][54]


The stadium is planned to open before the start of the 2014 NFL season on July 11, 2014. The first game scheduled to be played at the new stadium is a Major League Soccer match on August 2, 2014, between the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC.[55]

Originally, stadium and 49ers officials asked the NFL to not schedule any Monday or Thursday night home games during Levi's Stadium first season because of parking issues in the area during weekdays,[56] however, as of January 15, 2014, the City of Santa Clara was able to secure more than the 21,000 necessary parking spots by approving use of the fairways at the city owned Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club. With up to 31,600 potential parking spaces, tailgating and weeknight games are again a possibility, albeit later in the inaugural season. Parking prices will increase to $40 from $30 at Candlestick Park.[57]

Super Bowl L[edit]

On October 16, 2012, it was announced that Levi's Stadium was one of two finalists to host Super Bowl L on February 7, 2016 (the other stadium finalist being Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida).[58][59] On May 21, 2013, it was announced that the San Francisco Bay Area had defeated South Florida in a vote of NFL owners in its bid to host Super Bowl L.[60]

WrestleMania 31[edit]

On December 9, 2013, it was confirmed that Levi's Stadium will host the WWE's WrestleMania 31, on March 29, 2015. This will mark the first time WrestleMania is hosted in Northern California. The area will also host activities throughout the region for the week-long celebration leading up to WrestleMania itself.[61] On December 10, 2013, a press conference was held for the event.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Levi's Applies for 'Field of Jeans' Trademark on Stadium". National Football League. June 2, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Mike (March 12, 2013). "49ers Stadium's New Street Address in Santa Clara Named After Team Luminaries". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Rosenberg, Mike (April 19, 2012). "49ers' Kick Off Move to Santa Clara With Far-From-Traditional Groundbreaking". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ Cam Inman (February 12, 2014). "Levi’s Stadium shaping up well for 49ers, whose home opener is expected to come in Week 2 on ‘SNF’". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  5. ^ Andrew Pentis (Feb 12, 2014). "18 Things We Learned about Levi's® Stadium". 49ers.com. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
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  7. ^ "Sports". Magnusson Klemencic Associates. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ Miazga, Mike (July 1, 2013). "The Value Of Green". PMEngineer. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
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  11. ^ Bonagura, Kyle. "Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Will Move to New 49ers Stadium". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (May 21, 2013). "San Francisco Awarded Super Bowl L; Houston Lands LI". National Football League. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  13. ^ Naranjo, Candice. "The Super Bowl is Coming to Levi’s Stadium in 2016". KRON 4. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  14. ^ (http://www.wwe.com/shows/wrestlemania/31/levis-stadium-to-host-wrestlemania-31-26168989)
  15. ^ a b "Stadium Design". Santa Clara Stadium. April 20, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010. [dead link]
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  30. ^ 49ers term sheet
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  32. ^ "000webhost.com - free web hosting provider". Supportourniners.com. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
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  40. ^ a b Kukura, Joe (September 29, 2010). "NFL May Bribe Raiders, 49ers Into Shotgun Wedding". KNTV (San Francisco). Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
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  43. ^ "1960 Oakland Raiders Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
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  52. ^ Salonga, Robert; Gomez, Mike; Rosenburg, Mike (June 11, 2013). "Work Halted at New Levi's Stadium After Elevator Mechanic Killed". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
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  54. ^ "Cal OSHA Reopens Investigation Into Elevator Worker’s Death At Levi’s Stadium". KOVR (Sacramento: Associated Press). October 23, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
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  56. ^ Matier, Phil (December 9, 2013). "Lack Of Parking Means No Monday Night Football At Levi's Stadium". KPIX (San Francisco). Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  57. ^ Keller, Matt (January 15, 2014). "49ers Surpass Goal for Parking Spots at New Levi's Stadium". KGO (San Francisco). Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
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  61. ^ "Bay Area to Host WrestleMania XXXI". WWE. December 9, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Websites in opposition[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Candlestick Park
1971 – 2013
Home of the San Francisco 49ers
2014 – Future
Succeeded by
Preceded by
University of Phoenix Stadium
Host of
Super Bowl L

Succeeded by
Reliant Stadium
Preceded by
AT&T Park
Home of the Fight Hunger Bowl
2014– Future
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 37°24′11″N 121°58′12″W / 37.403°N 121.970°W / 37.403; -121.970