Update 5/15 – The Pac-12 Conference has announced that the annual football conference championship game will be held at Levi’s Stadium. That means that Levi’s Stadium will have 15 events in the final 5 months of 2014, or 3 per month.
Less than three months before the first event at Levi’s Stadium, the allure of hosting an event there is proving strong. Already, the Earthquakes and Cal football will have games there. Last week, the CCS (Central Coast Section) approved local high school Wilcox the opportunity to play a home game on August 29 at Levi’s. The game vs. visiting Manteca will be part of a high school doubleheader, which may also include powerhouse De La Salle of Concord.
The schedule of events for the fall at Levi’s Stadium will look like this:
- 8/2 – Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes
- 8/17 – Broncos at 49ers (preseason)
- 8/24 – Chargers at 49ers (preseason)
- 8/29 – High School football – Merced vs. Wilcox, TBA vs. De La Salle
- 9/14 – Bears at 49ers (regular season home opener)
- 9/28 – Eagles at 49ers
- 10/5 – Chiefs at 49ers
- 10/24 – Oregon vs. Cal
- 11/2 – Rams at 49ers
- 11/23 – Redskins at 49ers
- 11/27 – Seahawks at 49ers (Thanksgiving game)
- 12/5 – Pac-12 championship game (added 5/15)
- 12/20 – Chargers at 49ers
- 12/28 – Cardinals at 49ers
- 12/? – Fight Hunger Bowl (date TBA)
The MLS match and the HS football doubleheader present a couple of chances for the 49ers to not only break in the stadium but also to stage events with less than a full house. For the Quakes game, the upper deck is not being sold. Chances are that the same will happen for the high school games. Levi’s Stadium is also getting into bidding for the CIF State football championships, which have long been played at StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot Center) in Carson. Personally, I’d like to see the CCS championships at the new digs too. The top division games are played at San Jose City College.
Levi’s Stadium is also making itself available as a future site of the Pac-12 football championship game. Since the restructuring of the conference, the Pac-12 has chosen to stage the game at the home of the team with the best record among the North and South division leaders. The schools seem to like the home-hosting situation, which should mean some resistance towards a neutral site championship. Of course, the other big time FBS conferences have neutral site championship games with the exception of the Big 12, which no longer needs one due to having only 10 teams. The Pac-12 is rather spread out geographically, making it difficult to arrange for fans to fly into the Bay Area on short notice, especially for cheap.
At least for this year, the Santa Clara venue will miss out on the International Champions Cup, a series of soccer exhibitions by top European clubs (at least in name if not by roster). Instead, the one West Coast match will be played at Cal’s Memorial Stadium, which I suppose makes for a fair trade if Cal’s going to lose a home game by rescheduling it in Santa Clara. Other soccer matches are sure to follow, and don’t forget Wrestlemania, which will be played at Levi’s Stadium next March.
For those who simply want to visit the stadium, the team has been giving hard hat tours to VIPs and others who can arrange group outings. Regular public tours will begin in August at $25 per person. If you think that’s expensive – well, it is. Cowboys Stadium tours start at $17.50, and MetLife Stadium tours cost $20. Cost to visit the new 49ers museum, which does not include a stadium tour, is $15.