SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Coverage of the San Francisco 49ers

Levi's Stadium Put to the Test During First Game

Levi's Stadium officials will examine what went wrong and what went right during Saturday night's dress rehearsal.

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The countdown is on for the 49ers to play their first game at the new Levi’s Stadium. And thanks to a dress rehearsal Saturday night with a San Jose Earthquakes game, the 49ers have a clear to-do list. NBC Bay Area’s Marianne Favro reports from the stadium with some lessons learned. (Published Sunday, Aug 3, 2014)

Tens of thousands of sports fans flocked to Levi's Stadium Saturday night for the first ever game there, putting virtually every aspect of the new facility and the city of Santa Clara to the test.

The San Francisco 49ers said they were pretty happy with the way things went Saturday night, but they said they are still looking for ways to improve.

Nearly 50,000 fans attended the event, a great dress rehearsal to prepare for the 69,000 49ers fans that will attend the first game Aug. 17. And now, the 49ers have a clear to do list before that game.

Most of the people NBC Bay Area talked with said they were able to get through traffic and get to their parking sports easily.

Levi's Stadium Put to the Test After First Game

[BAY] Levi's Stadium Put to the Test After First Game
It is the day after the first event at the new Levi's stadium, and you might say there is some Monday morning quarterbacking going on. Tens of thousands flocked to the Earthquakes game, putting virtually every aspect of the new facility and the city of Santa Clara to the test. NBC Bay Area’s Marianne Favro reports live from the stadium where she just got the lowdown on what went right last night--and what needs work. (Published Sunday, Aug 3, 2014)

But some neighbors near Levi's Stadium said it was a little too easy.

"There were people parking in our carports, and it just got way crazy and out of hand," Santa Clara resident Sylvia Schladweiler said. "We couldn't park in our own streets."

Only people with certain stickers on their cars were supposed to be allowed into the neighborhoods, but closer to game time, some residents said nobody checked for the stickers.

"Part of me can tell you there is going to be a lot of things that will change," said Jim Mercurio, who is Vice President of Stadium Operations. "We're going to look to hear from the neighbors to see what they experienced yesterday and try to constantly improve upon that. We'll look at how we might be able to bring in additional staff if that's what it means."

Overall, Mercurio said Saturday night's beta test went well.

"We're never going to stop looking to try to improve candidly, but...parking and traffic is always going to be a number one priority for us, so we'll look at that," Mercurio said. "We'll look at how we can integrate ourselves with the Santa Clara Police Department, and the folks at VTA, the traffic engineering, all of our staff, and we'll always focus on stuff like that."

Some people complained about how long it took to get out of the parking lots and on to to the highways, and how crowded the VTA light rail trains were. More than 8,000 people used light rail to get to the stadium.

And many passengers complained about the long waits to catch a train home. A VTA spokeswoman said it will work to improve that.

Fans Experience First Game at Levi's Stadium

[BAY] Fans Experience First Game at Levi's Stadium
Fans were impressed with the new digs at Levi’s Stadium. NBC Bay Area’s Ian Cull talked to some fans. (Published Sunday, Aug 3, 2014)

"We think our plan is pretty solid. It's just the pocket track is really going to help us," Colleen Valles said. "And I think we are going...to be ready for Aug. 17."

The 49ers said they will sit down with VTA officials this week to talk about how to make that process smoother.

Earthquakes Win Inaugural Game at Levi's Stadium

[BAY] Earthquakes Win Inaugural Game at Levi's Stadium
Once fans got inside Levi's Stadium, the San Jose Earthquakes did not disappoint. NBC Bay Area's Geraud Moncure reports from the stadium with a game recap. (Published Sunday, Aug 3, 2014)

But they said overall, the WiFi worked well, cell phone coverage was good, and the concessions were great.

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