Levi’s Stadium – SF 49ers Opening Day

I was fortunate enough to score a ticket to the 49ers opening day game at Levi’s Stadium.  My friend’s nephew, Chase Thomas, is a linebacker for the 49ers.  The posse had 20 tickets in the shade around the 20 yard line.

I took CalTrain from SF to the game, my very first ride.  (I can’t believe that a railroad serving the most dense   I landed at Mountain View where you would normally change to the light rail that takes you to the Great America stop, about a block or so from Levi’s Stadium.  This day, however, my buddies were all meeting at Gerry’s for Bloody Mary’s and Lox and Bagels.  We piled into Dave’s car after a bit and headed to the ‘show’.  

We were concerned because, at the previous soccer game held at Levi’s Stadium, the traffic was horrific.  There were even reports of people waiting more than an hour for the light rail.  The city and community, AND the 9ers, worked very hard and were able to create an easy flow into the parking lots prior to and after the game.  It probably helps that the 49ers are paying Great America $12.5M to close their park when they play at home.  Yes, twelve point five million dollars!!!

I got to see my buddies, Dave and Norma, who have club level season tickets.   Dave’s been a season ticket holder forever.  They do up the tailgate perfectly!!  This time, my group didn’t do a tailgate.  We wanted to get the lay of the land.  We did, however, have ice cold beer to help us watch all of the tailgate activity.

Getting into the game was a piece of cake.  They have a well-thought-through security line.  Ladies, make sure your purse is 4”x6”.  You will have to return to your car to scale down into a clear plastic bag provided.  We had two such ladies, and one had her car parked WAY far away, but we were able to make the trip shorter with our excellent parking spot.

The entry into the park is majestic!!  Long escalators take you up to the club level.  We were next to the club, not in it.  When you get in, there’s a sea of red seats piled high into the sky, and the view into Levi’s Stadium is breathtaking.

SO, it becomes time for a beer.  How about a 30 minute wait, MULTIPLE times.  AND, the beer is yuck.  Bud Light and some kind of Goose Ale that isn’t good, and I’ve never heard of it.  If you go around the outside, you’ll see a Sierra Nevada booth, but forget it if you’re looking for a real lager.  AND, the beer is $11.

If you go, get the Levi’s Stadium app.  You can order food and drink delivery to your seats, and also express pick up. There are a lot of features in the app.  The delivery wasn’t yet working on opening day, so we suffered through the lines.

I’m not sure what Jed York was smoking when he talked about how good the food is.  It’s awful!!  Maybe he’s talking about the club level.  The burger bar took another 30 minutes to get to the front of the line.  By then, they were out of cheeseburgers.  There are waiters/cashiers in the front working their tails off, chefs cooking like crazy and people in between them doing nothing.  Clearly, there is need for tweaking the system in the food areas.  They have burger, hot dog, seafood and other areas.  They have a cheeseburger and vegan burger where I stopped.

When I finally got my cheeseburger and soggy fries and paid $11 and $6 respectively, I made it back to my seat to eat.  With the soggy fries came a tasteless burger – more like cardboard.  I kept tasting lemon which is weird on a burger.  I finally took the patty out, thinking standalone it might have flavor.  It was then that I realized that they put lemony hummus on it!!!  Crazy.  I thought it was mayo, and there ain’t no mayo anywhere to be found.  It was just terrible.

The large LED boards at the end of the stadium are nice, but the data on them is incomplete.  They replay every play, but info on players and their game status is nowhere to be found, at least where we were sitting.  The players mashed up the field pretty badly.  They’ve said it will be replaced.  And, the speaker system is simply awful.  Even though they have speakers installed about every 20 feet, it’s impossible to hear clearly, at least from my seat.  Seats are comfortable.  I sure hope they iron out their issues in short order.  It’s just WAY too costly to go to a game, wait forever for lousy beer and food, only to have the 49ers not play well.  Ah, but that’s San Francisco sports.  Just like the Giants, it can be torture!!

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