The San Francisco 49ers closed down Candlestick Park in December and will open Levi’s Stadium this fall. At a price tag of $1.3 billion, the move from San Francisco to Santa Clara represents a massive but necessary investment for the club and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.
According to a report from the San Jose Mercury-News, though, the two entities should have no problem earning that money back.
Even though 30 percent of Candlestick Park season-ticket holders opted not to renew for the new building, the 49ers managed to sell out its entire 68,500 capacity. All that remains – for face value, anyway – are 1,500 standing-room tickets. That’s more tickets than the New York Jets, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys managed to sell for the opening season of their new stadiums.
Each of those nearly 70,000 season-ticket holders will pay a seat license fee ranging from $2,000 to $80,000 – which generated $530 million in revenue, according to the paper. On top of that, the Niners will rake in more than $100 million in ticket sales (prices range from $850 to $3,750) annually.
In addition to those massive sums, San Francisco has collected more than $400 million in luxury suite sales, plus another $220 million from Levi’s for naming rights to the stadium.
Add it all up, and the new stadium has already earned $1.25 billion of that $1.3 billion loan. This is all two months before it even opens.
“It’s a historic day,” 49ers Chief Operating Officer Al Guido told the paper. “It’s a testament to the fans and their passion. I think they were genuinely excited and blown away by the design and all the things that go into the stadium.”
This is also before Levi’s Stadium hosts the Pac-12 Championship game for the next three years and hosts Super Bowl 50 (don’t you dare call it Super Bowl L) in February 2016.