Over three years into its life, the San Francisco 49ers’ home at Levi’s Stadium has become known more for empty seats, high prices, heat and bad traffic. Niner Noise breaks down the reasons why.
One would think the opening of a brand new, state-of-the art facility would be a reason to celebrate.
After all, the San Francisco 49ers desperately needed a new home — one that would be a substantial upgrade over the dilapidated, ancient Candlestick Park.
And what CEO Jed York and Co. delivered was Levi’s Stadium. In Santa Clara, not San Francisco.
For those of you not familiar with the Bay Area, Santa Clara is a good 40 minutes’ drive south of San Francisco. On a bad traffic day — usually the case on Highway 101 — this commute can take two hours, maybe more.
Traffic stunk at Candlestick Park too, so that can’t be a reason why Levi’s Stadium went from a state-of-the-art, modern facility to one Niners fans scoff and laugh at.
Or, more notably, don’t even fill.
In case you missed it, this shot from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ann Killion was taken on Opening Day for the 49ers, 2017. No, this isn’t a shot from the boring Jim Tomsula era or the overly frustrating Chip Kelly era (both lasted just one year as head coach, by the way).
This is the start of the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era — the beginning of what appears to be the most exciting period in Niners recent history since the team was a perennial Super Bowl contender in what now seems like ages ago.
Yet it’s empty. Really empty. And we can’t blame the beer lines being too long for how vacant the stands are.