Levi’s Stadium chosen for 2019 College Football Championship Game

Going into today we knew the first three host cities for the annual College Football Championship Game.

  • 2015: Dallas (Arlington)
  • 2016: Phoenix (Glendale)
  • 2017: Tampa

Today the host cities for the next three championship games were announced:

  • 2018: Atlanta
  • 2019: Bay Area (Santa Clara)
  • 2020: New Orleans

Cities that lost out for this next round included Minneapolis, Charlotte, and Miami. Those three, and the first three host cities, are expected to be considered for the next set of dates. The championship games are slated to be played at the most advanced NFL stadia. The semifinal games, which get a lengthier run-up due to their scheduling on New Year’s Eve, are to be rotated among six of the biggest bowl games (Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, Peach, Orange).

Levi’s Stadium has done a good job hosting big events so far, including Wrestlemania and a heavy concert season. It may have excelled at these non-football events while not excelling at hosting the sport and team it was designed to support, 49ers football. The grass is still suspect while the fan exodus at halftime continues unabated. I would like to think that if the stadium weren’t built quite so large or opulently the 49ers would take a step back and focus more on the football, but who am I kidding?

18 thoughts on “Levi’s Stadium chosen for 2019 College Football Championship Game

  1. They are going to have to do something about the grass and fast.

  2. Why oh why do these big events want to go there? Is it just that they think they’ll get that much of a boost from it being “new” and from people not having been there yet? The parking sucks, the access sucks, the class-warfare aspect sucks, real 49er fans hate it because it ruined their team by guaranteeing sellouts thanks to trapping people in SBL’s, and the grass sucks. What’s to like?

    • Like it or not, Levi’s Stadium now has a reputation as a big-event stadium venue. When you think about it, that has never really existed in the Bay Area. With that come some expectations about inconveniences as delays. That’s fine if you’re attending a big event (bowl game, concert) only once a year. It sucks when it’s a 10-weeks-a-year schedule. That’s where the disconnect is.

    • “The parking sucks, the access sucks, the class-warfare aspect sucks, real 49er fans hate it because it ruined their team by guaranteeing sellouts thanks to trapping people in SBL’s, and the grass sucks. ”

      Don’t disagree but none of these impact big events like this.

      Folks are coming to the area specifically for the event. The fact that parking is bad is less of an issue because they don’t have commitments outside the event.

      The class warfare thing is likely viewed as a plus by the big events. They want money and they get money be being able to charge high prices for the amenities.

      SBL’s are also not a bad thing for these events because it gives the event an easy group to market to.

      Grass is an issue but the money side wins out.

      This is why I still think the best option for Oakland, the Raiders and the 49ers would have been to work with the 49ers and Raiders on building a football only stadium at the Coliseum site. It’s a much better location for events and would have been an even bigger draw than Levi’s simply because of it’s proximity to SF.

  3. Jed has the fans’ signed PSL contracts and suite lease agreements in hand. What need does he have for a winning team anymore?

    • More than that, though… They bank on the fact that game tickets are about 150% what they were at Candlestick and that the average spend per ticket sold on alcohol is double what it was at Candlestick, all with a higher capacity. They’ll have to start worrying about football again if they want those numbers to continue.

  4. “The parking sucks, the access sucks,”

    Has no one else here ever been to an NFL game anywhere else? This is almost universally true, everywhere. For that matter, did no one here ever go to a game at Candlestick? The parking and access were way worse, but without the alternatives Levi’s offers to escape it (e.g. light rail, Amtrak, express bus, simply walking a mile to a parking lot on the outside perimeter).

    The bottom line is, if you’re trying to squeeze 70,000 people into a small space in a short amount of time, you’re going to have parking and access issues. Is access at the Coliseum better? Yes – in fact it’s probably as good as it gets in the NFL. But people’s perspective of the Coli is also greatly affected by the fact that Coli is rarely hosting more than 54,000 people anymore. Recall just a few year’s ago when it hosted that U2 concert with a bigger crowd, people experienced up to 2 hour delays trying to get parked and many gave up and went home.

    “the class-warfare aspect sucks,”

    Also true of pretty much any new NFL stadium.

    “real [fill-in-the-blank-NFL-team] fans hate it because it ruined their team by guaranteeing sellouts thanks to trapping people in SBL’s,”

    This is not true. Payroll costs vary little in the NFL due to salary cap floor rules, so there’s little incentive to dismantle a winning team to save money. On the contrary, the incentive is still to actually get butts in the seats and sell people stuff. The Niners didn’t ruin their team because they’re cheap, they ruined their team because they’re dumb.

    “and the grass sucks.”

    A weird anomaly that they’re having trouble fixing this, but they’ll figure it out eventually. I’ll still take it all day long and Sunday over artificial turf.

    “What’s to like?”

    Great sightlines (except for the upper deck), nice weather, and great amenities (especially in the premium areas, which make up a high percentage of the stadium). And that’s a big part of the point – high profile events want lots of premium seating, and Levi’s has that in spades.

    • Thank you Bartleby with some logic,

      Levi’s is a damn nice stadium and I am a loyal SBL holder thick thru thin.

      I have tailgated in multiple lots and seen the parking issues evolve from day 1. Let me tell everyone it has been night and day from opening night 2014 vs. Chicago.

      Weekday games all the business lots are closed for their employees so they have to overflow the golf course. On Sunday’s not a issue getting out in 15-20 min.

      Candlestick was horrible, 2 hours average even if you left early in the 4th quarter. God awful.

      Levi’s concourses are huge, the seats actually have cup holders (what a concept) the mobile app I can have beer delivered to me without having to get up and the sight lines blow Candlestick away.

      It is the newest nicest stadium on the West Coast where it is not cold. Seattle is too cold to host a BCS title game in January.

      • @Side “Levi’s concourses are huge, the seats actually have cup holders (what a concept) the mobile app I can have beer delivered to me without having to get up and the sight lines blow Candlestick away.”

        All good points.

        “It is the newest nicest stadium on the West Coast where it is not cold.”

        Technically a true statement, though it’s not really saying much. Really all you’re saying is Levi’s is better than the Coli and Qualcomm. Which is true, though for nearby venues I’d rate both Seattle and Phoenix ahead of Levi’s. But Levi’s is a very nice stadium; I’d put it in the top 10 overall.

      • levi’s stadium def has some weaknesses but to totally slam the place like it’s a complete disaster as i’ve seen some including a couple of people on this blog is just a clear bias against either the team or the people who own the franchise.

        remember this was the SAME design the niners had if they were to built a new stadium for the niners in SOUTH frisco, candlestick technically was never in the actually city of frisco and there was never going to be the space needed to build the venue within it’s city limits.

        now the niners brass probably designed the stadium to fit the climate/weather so they didn’t probably envision half the stadium being baked by the sun during the early months of the season. so when they decided to build it down in santa clara they should’ve changed the design a bit or at least built some sort of roof structure to shade the seats from across the suite tower although they still could do that in the future.

        you may hate what the venue represents especially with how the front office and ownership have basically ruined the on the field product and image of the team both locally and nationally but for those yearning for a return to candlestick or thinking the coliseum is a better venue, please stop.

  5. Another candidate for the 2021 Championship Game: The eventual NFL stadium in LA.

  6. rachelswan @rachelswan
    #Oakland Poll Voter priorities: 1) pub transit 2) tax protection 3) marketing city 4) tech jobs 5) keep A’s 6) keep Warriors 7) keep Raiders

    • Actually she was very wrong- they were ranked low- 14, 15 and 16- Matthew Artz has the correct story- Oakland Poll: Keeping teams low priority for voters

      By Matthew Artz martz@bayareanewsgroup.com

      • least they have the a’s as the highest or main priority when it deals with the three sports teams.

        they should be knowing that both the other teams got hundreds of millions for their stadium renovations and either want a new venue or are moving while the a’s got the shaft back in the mid 90s when both the coliseum and arena were renovated yet go by far the worst of the results of those revamped venues.

    • Difference isn’t statistically significant. This should empower the mayor to play hardball with the A’s- they are stuck at this point-

      • 64% of oakland say the a’s are extremely important or important to keep.

        56% of oakland residents say the raiders are extremely important or important to keep.

        i think 8% is a pretty decent sized gap between the two teams.

        when you talk about having 81+ dates compared to at the most 12 if you include pre/post season games in the nfl, it’s not even close.

        not to mention a baseball only park could cost about half the amount of a football stadium so financially makes a hell of a lot more sense to build a baseball park over a new football stadium if you’re the city of oakland.

  7. “…Oakland Poll: Keeping teams low priority for voters. …”

    Which is as it should be.

    • The NFL is going to have very little leverage trying to pry public funds out of Oakland. But of course, the NFL doesn’t really have to care. It doesn’t need Oakland. There are plenty of places the team could go, with the leading candidate being 30 miles away in Santa Clara.

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