Due to COVID restrictions, it’s been a long time since 49er fans were able to cheer on the team from inside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
In fact, the last time the team got to hear the roar of the home crowd was their run up to the Superbowl, two years ago.
But now, Levi’s Stadium is on the verge of opening, along with the 49ers season.
The reopening of Levi’s Stadium marks a new beginning on Friday as the in-stadium team museum will reopen on a limited basis. With all the displays and exhibits commemorating the team’s success including five Super Bowls.
It is one of the indoor facilities where county mask protocols will be required.
“We’ll do whatever it takes . you know what I mean? I think it’s getting better. So we just have to be careful and do what they tell us to do and watch some football,” said Norm Cazin, a 49er fan.
The 49ers also cut the ribbon on its new indoor VIP club on Thursday. It’s another new addition as the team welcomes back fans for the first time since the 2019-2020 season.
“I’m really excited about it and .. we’re ready,” said Al Guido, 49ers Team President. Guido was asked how prepared the 49ers organization are for 70,000 people to welcome and what should they keep in mind? “Well I think they should keep in mind all the COVID rules that we have to date, right? Which is what we’re doing right now,” he said. We’re indoors, we’re masking up and so outdoors, you get to take the masks off.”
By outdoors, the 49ers mean at the seats and in the concourse areas. Jim Mercurio, Levi’s Stadium’s Executive Vice President and general manager emphasized the team wants to see the fans. But also wants to make sure they're following the rules.
“You need to put on your mask. Let’s not test that,” he said.” Mercurio was also asked if there is going to be any kind of special enforcement for Niners.
“Well, I don’t like to give all our tactics away. But yeah, they listen. This is a highly technical stadium, right? and there’s cameras everywhere. There’s personnel everywhere,” he said. One snag is that the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) said light rail service shut down since May’s mass shooting will not resume anytime soon. But buses including special runs from BART and Cal Train will be set up by the pre-season opener on August 14.
When it comes to tailgating, fans will be encouraged to follow all the county protocols for outdoor activities and it will stay that way as long as the COVID situation remains under control.