On Friday the San Francisco 49ers announced the prices for more than 50,000 reserved seats in the upper deck, lower bowl and end zones of the new stadium in Santa Clara. The 49ers new stadium is expected to open in 2014.
Looking at the prices most of the seats will cost double than what they are at Candlestick. There is a one-time, so called license fee that fans will have to pay, which buys the seat the person wants season tickets for. Depending on the seats, the license fee can range anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000. However, none of the license fee goes towards the price you pay for season tickets. You are just buying the rights to the seat, not the season tickets. On top of that fee the season tickets can cost anywhere from $850 to $2,000 for each ticket, per year. The license fees go directly to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, the agency overseeing the planning and building, to help pay for the construction. Season ticket fees go to the 49ers.
Yes, the Santa Clara stadium will be brand new and won’t even compare anywhere near the dilapidated Candlestick Park, but my worry is the average middle-class fan will be priced out of season tickets. I know many 49ers season ticket holders who won’t be able to afford the license fee and will lose their season tickets. In many cases, there are fans that have had season tickets in their families for decades and will not be able to afford the new prices at the new stadium.
The license fee has to be paid for each seat you want season tickets for. For a family of four at the cheapest license fees and seats, they would have to pay $11,400 ($8,000 for four license fees, $3,400 for four season tickets.) When you throw in the cost of getting to the stadium, parking and concessions, 49ers games will be plenty expensive to attend come 2014.
The sale for the license fees and season tickets go on sale Monday. The 49ers do have payment plans available of up to 10 years, with no interest if paid in full by March 2014. That is good news, but that does not make it more affordable for the average fan, especially in the economic times we live in. My worry is only the affluent will be able to buy season tickets and long-time season ticket holders, who have staked a claim to the nosebleed seats at Candlestick, will have be priced out and not be able to afford season tickets at the new stadium.