The San Francisco 49ers premiered their new stadium, Levi’s Stadium, this summer. I’ve been enjoying reading the early reviews of the new venue from fans and media alike during the pre-season games. Despite some complaints about food running low during the first game, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
There’s also been a din of dissatisfaction regarding the new location – the argument going that Santa Clara is so far away from the city that it calls into question the validity of the team’s moniker. My opinion? It’s only 45 minutes away, and it looks like they managed to build a stadium they might not have been able to build in the city proper. SFO is 45 minutes away, and it’s not technically in San Francisco, either. I think it’s best to just appreciate that we now have one of the coolest stadiums in the country.
For instance, the stadium is on track to receive an LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. It features nearly 40,000 square feet of solar panels, which will produce enough electricity to run the stadium for all ten home games each season. Besides solar panels, the roof also features a garden with several types of indigenous vegetation. Recycled water is used to water the field and for the public toilets.
Speaking of toilets, the media and social media are reporting that there are virtually no bathroom lines. If you’ve ever been to a 49ers game before, you’ll understand how much of a big deal this is.
The new 49ers museum is also attracting a lot of attention, a 20,000 square foot tech-forward immersive experience that features, among other exhibitions, a broadcast booth where you can be recorded announcing ‘The Catch.’ Fantasy football nerds will also be happy to see a 220-foot stat crawl dedicated to their obsession.
The food offerings are perfectly ‘bay area.’ There are no fewer than 25 vegan food kiosks around the stadium, alongside stadium anachronisms like wagyu beef and bao sandwiches.
The wifi is apparently so strong that all 40,000 fans could stream a movie at the same time during the game. You won’t be doing that, but suffice to say that you’ll be able to get that picture posted on social media without a hitch.
I haven’t been to the new stadium yet, but I hope to make it out this season. Even if that means not being able to watch a game from the comfort of my own home.