SF 49ers to borrow $125 million for Levi's Stadium upgrades with hopes of hosting 2026 Super Bowl

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Friday, March 31, 2023
49ers to borrow $125M for Levi's Stadium upgrades
A San Francisco 49ers spokesperson confirms that Levi's Stadium will soon get new upgrades.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- A San Francisco 49ers spokesperson confirms that Levi's Stadium will soon get new upgrades.

They say the 49ers applied for partial reimbursement of the $125 million through the NFL's VTS Waiver program.

With the stadium less than 10 years old, some might be a bit surprised by upgrades, but former sports executive and author Andy Dolich says this should not be a shocker.

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"The Niner organization is looking forward, they're agile, they're nimble, they're taking advantage of a significant cash generator in the NFL and they want to bring the most significant events to the market," says Dolich.

When you think of renovations or upgrades, you might wonder if that involves parking, traffic, field turf or the extreme lack of shade at Levi's Stadium. According to a 49ers spokesperson, this will be a $125 million project that will first involve renovation of Levi's Stadium Suites, then the Niners will look to upgrade video boards to enhance the fan experience.

This will be done before the 2026 World Cup games. There is a hope that this could lure Super Bowl 60 here too less than a decade after bringing the championship game to Santa Clara.

49ers CEO Jed York said the team is hoping to host the 2026 Super Bowl at the NFL annual meeting Tuesday. This would mark a decade after Levi's Stadium first hosted the 2016 Super Bowl.

The decision is expected to be made in May, according to a 49ers spokesperson.

Dolich says this is about competing with the $5 billion Sofi Stadium down in Southern California, competing with Allegiant Stadium in Vegas, and competing with other places across the country and around world.

"We live in a nano-span attention span world and if you're not ahead of the game you are literally in last place so this is an organization that is looking at the future. If you manage your sport or any business through the rear-view mirror you're going to be in trouble. Here is a situation, at least with the story popping up today that they're looking through the windshield," said Dolich.

Dolich, who just co-wrote a book on local sports history called "Goodbye Oakland: Winning, Wanderlust, And A Sports Town's Fight For Survival," says teams in other sports like the A's in the MLB, for example, likely wish there was a program like this where they could make a move like the 49ers are making. The renovations will start after this coming NFL season.

"The 49ers are excited to continue to invest in upgrades at Levi's Stadium to enhance the fan experience. From introducing the member inclusive menu to our season ticket members in 2021 to renovating our suites in 2024-25, we will continue to innovate to keep our fan experience world-class." said a 49ers spokesperson.

See more stories and videos related to the San Francisco 49ers here.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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