I recently highlighted the history of Bills Stadium as well as all of the renovations that have taken place over the past four decades. Over the coming weeks, I will take a deep dive into the newer stadiums around the league. I’m going to explain the history, what makes them unique, and how they relate to a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. This week’s stadium review is the home of the San Fransisco 49ers: Levi’s Stadium.
A Brief History of Levi’s Stadium
The 49ers had been looking to build a new stadium since 1997 when plans were presented to replace Candlestick Park with a new stadium. At the time Candlestick park was showing its age and just how outdated the facility was. However, many plans failed to any progress. In 2006 the 49ers decided to focus on building a new stadium in the city of Santa Clara, 40 miles south of San Francisco, instead of remaining in the city of San Francisco.
The stadium proposal received final approval in 2012 when the final piece of funding was agreed, and construction started soon after in April 2012. Construction of the stadium took a little over 2 years, and Levi’s Stadium officially opened on 17 July 2014 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The stadium came at a cost of $1.2 billion.
What Makes it Unique
Levi’s Stadium leads the way in sustainability initiatives. Its location, Santa Clara, was specifically chosen due to the amount of public transportation in the area. Also, many of the stadium’s parts were built with recycled materials from demolished buildings. Additionally, the venue has enough solar panels to power every home game completely through solar energy. All of these environmental measures led to Levi’s Stadium earning LEED Gold certification, the first NFL stadium to do so.
With the stadium in Silicon Valley, the 49ers incorporated lots of technology when they built Levi’s Stadium. The stadium has world-class Wi-Fi, with over 1,000 access points placed around the stadium, and 2,500 HDTVs. Levi’s Stadium also has its custom app. The app features turn-by-turn directions to your seat, search functions to explore the stadium, and real-time game stats. The app can also be used to order food directly to your seat, check the map to see which restroom has the shortest line, and watch a live broadcast of the game from anywhere inside the stadium.
Levi’s Stadium also has its own high-end steakhouse and a sit-down pub. Along with that the stadium also has a 20,000 square foot 49ers museum that includes many memorabilia and interactive activities for fans.
What the Bills Could Make of Levi’s Stadium
There is a lot to unpack when you look through Levi’s Stadium. The technology is cool and something that no other stadium has done in the past. Could this be something seen in Buffalo? It’s also another stadium with interactive activities for fans to do on game day as this idea is starting to become a trend in the NFL.
Even the sustainability efforts in Levi’s Stadium are cool and could very much be a feature seen in stadium construction across the league. As more and more people are becoming concerned with environmental issues, having a stadium that is planet-friendly is something that not a lot of people think about.
Time will tell on what the Bills do with their stadium. We can learn a little from Levi’s Stadium and what made this stadium special. What do you think? Is Levi’s Stadium a good starting for the Bills? Next week will be the final stadium review as I’ll take a look at Metlife Stadium.