49ers vs. Vikings playoff game expected to bring spectators, extra security and plenty of team spirit

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- This weekend brings the biggest 49ers game to Levi's Stadium.

The NFC Divisional Round Playoff game kicks off on Saturday afternoon against the Minnesota Vikings.

On Friday night, red and gold merchandise was already flying off shelves at the 49ers Team Store at Levi's.

There's no doubt, the big game will bring out spectators, extra security and plenty of team spirit.

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"We got Jimmy G. We got Bosa! Dee Ford's coming back," Reno resident Richard Price told ABC7 News.

He and his father have attended at least seven games since the season began.

This weekend's excitement also means the return of fully booked hotels.

Hilton Santa Clara's Director of Sales and Marketing, Michelle Knipe, said all 280 guest rooms were booked for Friday night.

"We are expecting a full house throughout the weekend," she added.

"We absolutely have a great system in place for these high profile events," Knipe said. "Starting with the Super Bowl, through the College Football Playoffs, and now we get to do it again."

The Hilton also hosts a public tailgate, free to anyone passing by.

She said, "These games have been a great source of demand. A lot of really excited fans that are coming out, and really excited."

Some visitors planned early. For New Mexico resident Chris Belis, it was touch down Santa Clara.

"As soon as they beat the Seahawks and we got the first-round bye, that's when we bought our tickets," Belis said.

Joe McMindes from Brentwood said he and his wife got their tickets, "Probably a little before Christmas. We knew it was coming."

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Others simply got lucky. 49ers fan Thor Teigen, and Vikings fan Brad Herdt finalized their plans Sunday night.

The two are friends who flew in from Southern California and Nevada.

In the usual sea of red leading to Levi's, Herdt said people should expect great pops of purple.

"Oh, there'll be a lot of Vikings fans here," he said. "They travel quite well."

Adding to Saturday's crowd will be Santa Clara police officers.

"Whether they're in full uniform, whether they're in tactical attire, or whether they're in plain clothes just like fans, milling about or just in the stands," Capt. Wahid Kazem told ABC7 News.

Away from the stadium, PD will deploy its Neighborhood Protection Detail, which is meant to monitor illegal parking, tail-gating and other issues impacting Santa Clara residents.

"There's a specific group of officers that is deployed at every event to do nothing but to patrol the neighborhoods in Santa Clara," Kazem explained.

The excitement on Friday night proved people are pumped for Saturday's playoff match-up.

"Bang bang Niner gang! We're just screaming," Richard Price said. "We're happy. We're ready to go!"

Winners will advance to the NFC championship game.

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