Sticker shock for 49er faithful at new stadium

January 9, 2012 7:42:52 PM PST
Sticker shock was the word of the day for loyal 49er fans. Monday was the first day the best seats in the house for the new 49er stadium went on sale. But seats at the hot new venue in Santa Clara are coming at a price.

Many 49er season ticket holders started showing up to the sales office in Santa Clara Monday to see how much it would cost to hold onto what they already have at Candlestick.

Roseville residents Denise and Jimmy Loudaros have been season ticket holders for three decades, paying $179 a ticket for awesome seats. The new stadium means they now face up to an $80,000 upfront cost, plus an additional $375 dollars.

"Our seats are spectacular and they're on the front row of the 49 yard line and my thoughts are we're going to leave without this; it's like burying somebody," Jimmy Loudaros said.

Season ticket holders are getting first crack at keeping their seats but it's a pricey proposition.

The new stadium holds more than 68,000 people. Nine thousand of the best seats come with a Stadium Builders License (SBL) fee that gives a fan lifetime rights for the seat at a cost of $20,000, $30,000 or $80,000, plus the price of each ticket (in the $300 range).

Jimmy and Denise had one of the first appointments Monday to talk about their options.

"We just bought a car a week ago so it wasn't anything like buying a car, it was very friendly, very polite, they understood pressure at all," Denise Loudaros said.

No pressure, but more money than most fans can even contemplate. Some without an appointment were even turned away.

"No, that's strictly out of my budget right now," 49er fan Paul Reyes said.

The 49ers say despite the price, the team expectsto sell out the SBLs. They will release ticket prices for the majority of seats this summer.

"I would tell those critics to reserve judgment," Legends Sales and Marketing Vice President Al Guido said. "We will have a price that fits every fan; we firmly believe that."

Denise and Jimmy say it's tough but think they have settled on two $30,000 lifetime seats that keep them close to the action.

"I wish it was free, where we could just continue paying our season tickets, but I guess it's a business and it's an expensive business and they did what they could and I'm happy with them," Jimmy Loudaros said.

That one-time SBL fee is so substantial that there's are payment options, including a 10-year financing plan.

The 49ers hope to be in the new stadium by 2014.