Shovels ceremoniously hit the dirt on the new 49ers stadium in April, and then the real construction crews quickly rolled in. The $1.2 billion, open stadium design features an array of high tech innovation. 49ers CEO Jed York says he's proud two thirds of the seats are in the lower bowl, "When you bring fans lower and closer to the field, you know you make sure the fan experience is in place the technology is one thing, but actually watching the game, you have to start from that standpoint."
The view comes with a price. There are 68,500 seats. Each one requires season ticket holders to buy a Stadium Builders License or SBL. Steve Fyten is part of the 49ers faithful since 1967. At first he worried he couldn't afford the one-time fee, but bought in at the lowest cost, "I'm excited. As far as the $2,000 seat, it's going to be beautiful. It's going to be on the forty yard line."
The much talked about premium club seats run from $20,000 to $80,000, but they're only a fraction of the seating available and sales are soaring, "I feel great about where we stand right now," said Al Guido, vice president with Legends Premium Sales. "We are close to three quarters of the way sold through so look forward to being sold out when we open in 2014."
Santa Clara fought hard to make the new stadium a reality, winning voter approval and defeating lawsuits. The location next to the team's training facility offers easy access to freeways and public transit, "This is going to be the embodiment of the spirit of Silicon Valley," said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews. "It's going to be an iconic building that will be recognized throughout the nation."
For many, the move south is bittersweet but Jed York says the 49ers and San Francisco have a bond that will never be broken, "The team has been through a lot, the Bay Area has been through a lot, and it's just nice to know that there's certainty that the 49ers are building a new stadium in Northern California and our fans are going to enjoy for the next decades to come."
This job is about 20 percent complete. And the construction team has a $5 million incentive to make sure the stadium is ready for kickoff of the 2014 season.