Heavy traffic reported after 49ers home opener at Levi's Stadium

Byby Nick Smith KGO logo
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Heavy traffic reported after 49ers home opener
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Many 49ers fans were frustrated after they got caught in heavy traffic trying to leave Levi's Stadium on Sunday night.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- San Francisco 49ers fans are trying to stay patient with both their team's playing and the new stadium experience, the day after the Niners' first regular season game at Levi's Stadium.

People ABC7 News spoke with weren't sure if they wanted to discuss the defeat by the Chicago Bears or the frustration they had trying to leave the stadium after the game.

One day after the 49ers opened Levi's Stadium for their face-off with the Chicago bears, the talk isn't only about the team's loss but rather, the Levi's Stadium experience and the challenges of getting out of the parking lots and through the heavy traffic.

Those living nearby have learned to avoid the area on game day. "I used to come to the gym on Sundays, I'm not doing it anymore," one man said.

More than 70,000 Niner Faithful poured out of Levi's Stadium to find packed shuttles, traffic officers directing drivers and long lines of cars slowly making their way to the freeway. Post-game traffic was the biggest issue with 49ers fans since the team's move from San Francisco.

"We have an amazing stadium, it was time for Candlestick to take a rest," Anne Beck said.

Beck is a season ticket holder from Grants Pass, Oregon. She stayed at the nearby Hilton and took advantage of their proximity to the stadium.

Traffic didn't disappoint her. The 28-20 loss was enough to do that. "Honey I was ready to enjoy in the sea-chickens having lost, I thought I'd go to Oregon and be able to say, 'I've won and you lost,' but unfortunately we're both going to be sad," she said.

Hilton General Manager, Erich Smith, says the hotel sold out on Sunday, packing the hotel bar and restaurant. "It was beyond our expectations, overwhelming," he said.

To help deal with the crowds, he came up with a plan to increase available parking and reduce traffic congestion. "On these game days, none of our hotel staff drives to the property. Everybody take public transportation, gets dropped off or like me, rode my bicycle," Smith said.

And the $10,000 question is with a record of 1-1 are you losing faith?

"Honey we did 10 years of bad stuff, this is just a bip in the road," Beck said.