Santa Clara Golf Course to Serve as Levi's Stadium Parking Lot

Good news for fans planning to attend a 49ers game at the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara: There's going to be plenty of parking.

The 49ers say there should be 10,000 more spaces than originally planned, totaling just over 31,000 parking spots. That's 66 percent more spots than what's now available at Candlestick.

About 5,000 of those spots will be at a golf course across the street from the stadium, where fans will be allowed to park on the fairways.

The Santa Clara City Council Tuesday voted to permit the Niners to use the 18-hole Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club golf course next to the stadium site to park up to 5,000 cars on game and major event days until March 2016.

The council voted unanimously to give the 49ers a special permit to use of the course’s 16 fairways.

"This is phenomenal news," Mayor Jamie Matthews said. Council member Lisa Gillmor echoed the mayor, saying that "the 49ers organization has taken a lot of hits in the news media" in the past for appearing not to be able to secure sufficient parking.

The price of parking is expected to be $40 a car. That's $10 more than what fans paid this season at Candlestick.

The golf course, managed by the American Golf Corp., would be used for cars in the same way that the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena has used the Brookside Golf Course there for parking since the 1970s, assistant city manager Alan Kurotori said.

The 49ers would pay for improvements to the Santa Clara golf course, such as building driveways to the course, widening golf cart paths to serve as roads for cars and restoring the grass fairways for golfers after fans drive off of them, Kurotori said.

The golf course's tee boxes and greens would be roped off and, since part of the course is built over landfill - which might emit underground gases – fans parking on the course for tailgate parties would not be permitted to use flamed devices such as barbecues, city officials said.

At least one golfer NBC Bay Area talked to is cool with the new plan.

"You know, it's their home field, and whatever supports the team,” Nhotfa Phomsouvandra said. “Hopefully, everybody feels like I do."

The stadium's planned launch is Aug. 2, a soccer match pitting the San Jose Earthquakes against the Seattle Sounders, which is not likely to be a sell-out, city officials said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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