"Mundane" Visitors' Locker Room at Levi's Stadium Meant to "Underwhelm" 49ers' Opponents - NBC Bay Area

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"Mundane" Visitors' Locker Room at Levi's Stadium Meant to "Underwhelm" 49ers' Opponents



    Away Team Gets Underwhelming, Beige Locker Room at Levi's Stadium

    The visiting team gets a beige, smaller locker room at Levi's Stadium. Project executive Jack Hill said the room is supposed to make the away players feel calm and "underwhelmed." (Published Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014)

    It’s a nice locker room, but not as nice as the 49ers’.

    If the Niners beat the Bears in Sunday’s first regular season game at Levi’s Stadium, it might not be just because Kap was the better passer, or Harbaugh the better coach.

    One factor not to overlook: the home team has a way better locker room.

    Step inside the 49ers side and enjoy plush red carpeting, and be impressed with 90 10-foot-tall walnut-wood lockers in a sprawling 3,600 square-foot open space, created so that Coach Jim Harbaugh can look at his community of players eye-to-eye and speak to them all together.

    Pulled Pork, Rotisserie Chicken, Steamed Buns, Gourmet Food at Levi's StadiumPulled Pork, Rotisserie Chicken, Steamed Buns, Gourmet Food at Levi's Stadium

    Reporter Bob Redell interviews Dinari Brown, executive sous chef at Centerplate, inside Levi's Stadium about all the delicacies fans can eat.
    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014)

    And for the away team? A divided space so that the team can't connect and communicate the same way Harbaugh and his troops can. Beige walls and carpeting. Lower ceilings.

    "I would say mundane finishes," Levi's Stadium Project Executive Jack Hill told NBC Bay Area. "We want these guys to be calm and underwhelmed," referring to the visiting team.

    Hill said they couldn’t make the locker room too uncomfortable. After all, the stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl 50 in 2016.

    It's certainly not unheard of in sports to assign the away team the dingier digs.

    The Portland Trail Blazers found a snake in their locker room while playing at San Antonio in May. And then there was the 1984 NBA Finals at the Boston Garden, where temperatures inside the visitors’ locker room were sky high. The Lakers complained, so Celtics coach Red Auerbach supposedly gave them an air-conditioner but didn’t bother having it installed.

    The most well-known of these visitors' locker rooms, however, is housed at the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium, which is decked out with pink walls, pink floors – even pink toilets. The color scheme not only is meant to disarm the visiting team, but recently, it's outraged a group of students and faculty who say the hue is sexist and discriminatory.

    No walnut-wood lockers in the visitors' locker room at Levi's Stadium.
    Photo credit: NBC Bay Area

    Since beige is a neutral color, the 49ers will likely steer clear of any sexism complaints. And, as Hill pointed out, while the room is supposed to disarm the opposing team, the space isn't really all that bad.

    "It's still a great locker room," he said. "A lot of teams that see it would take it for their home locker room."

    NBC Bay Area's Ian Cull contributed to this report.

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