The second season in Levi’s Stadium will include at least the possibility of prime-time games on weeknights as well as additions to keep fans on the sunny, east side of the stadium cooler than they were during Year 1.
The 49ers hosted several nationally televised games last season. But they were either Sunday night or Thanksgiving night when third-party parking stalls belonging to various office parks in the vicinity were not in use.
Al Guido, the 49ers’ chief operating officer, said Tuesday that third-party stalls no longer concern the NFL and that the 49ers are eligible to host games Monday and Thursday nights. The NFL schedule will be released next month.
Another issue at Levi’s last year was fans sweltering on the east side of the stadium. Guido said the 49ers consulted with other hot-weather teams, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, to see how they keep fans cool.
As a result, the 49ers will install units in the east-side corridors that dispense cool air. There also will be misters in the nearby plazas. A third option that may be considered: Distributing hand fans that double as misters to patrons on that side of the stadium.
Guido said the 49ers have the ability to control kickoff times of the two summer preseason games and that both likely would be played at night.
The 49ers said they improved traffic congestion issues – especially when leaving the games – as the season went on, but that they are working on creating additional exits from some of the lots to make it quicker.
Guido said it took one hour and 20 minutes for the parking lots to empty after the team’s Week 2 game against the Bears. By the end of the season, that had dropped to 45 minutes. The average time to get out of Candlestick Park was 90 minutes.
“You had thousands of people working together for the first time and thousands of fans going to a new stadium,” CEO Jed York said. “By the end of the season, I think things worked very well. It takes a little bit of time to acclimate.”
York said there has been no change as far as the Raiders – or any second tenant – playing at Levi’s.
“It’s been the same answer all along: The building has been approved for two teams,” he said. “That hasn’t changed. It’s not specific to who the team is. And it’s really out of our control. The Raiders and whoever else is considering new stadium possibilities, they’re controlling their own destiny on where they want to go and what they want to do.”
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.