The San Francisco 49ers and Levi Strauss & Co held a press conference and pep rally on Wednesday to announce the company’s proposal for the Niners new stadium naming rights. The proposal will officially be presented to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) on May 9. The proposal is for a 20-year, $220 million naming rights agreement for the new place to be called “Levi’s Stadium.”
The SCSA oversees and approves the functions of the 49ers new stadium set to open in 2014. It’s a foregone conclusion the new stadium in Santa Clara will be called Levi’s Stadium and feature the company’s name throughout the stadium. One reason is because the 49ers basically run the SCSA. Plus, you don’t hold a press conference and pep rally to announce the proposal if you didn’t think it will get approved.
In attendance at the pep rally at Levi’s headquarters in San Francisco were 49ers players Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Colin Kaepernick, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis. Also at the pep rally were head coach Jim Harbaugh, general manager Trent Baalke and 49ers CEO Jed York.
No matter what the new Santa Clara stadium is called, I will likely refer it as The South Stick (Santa Clara is in the South Bay) or New Candlestick Park, rather than the official name. If Levi’s Stadium is the name I guess it’s better than names Candlestick Park had in previous years, like Monster Park and 3Com Park. Since the team is moving 40 miles south of The City, it’s great to see a partnership with a San Francisco based company. Levi Strauss founded the company in 1853 to open a dry goods store for gold miners in San Francisco. 20 years later, the company started making the first denim blue jeans.
One question I do have with the proposal is will the playing field be called Bill Walsh Field like it is now at Candlestick Park? In August 2007, then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had the city of San Francisco rename the playing field as Bill Walsh Field to honor the legendary head coach. It is rarely called that by TV commentators because the stadium is contractually obligated to retain Candlestick Park as its name. And from what I can recall there is only one sign in the stadium that refers to Bill Walsh Field. Let’s hope the new Santa Clara stadium continues the tradition of Bill Walsh Field.
Here is a picture released by the 49ers of what the signage in the new stadium could look like: