Eric Branch is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers are expected to open the 2014 season on the road, and then host Sunday Night Football at Levi's Stadium in Week 2. The day after the Super Bowl, I wrote an article about why the 49ers would not open the season at Seattle on Thursday Night Football. Shockingly enough, I might have been wrong!
The 49ers local media were given a tour of the stadium, and it sounds like they had a chance to learn a variety of little details. According to the Chronicle article, even though the stadium is expected to be completed by late July, "the decision to delay its regular-season unveiling was made as part of its original construction schedule." I suppose it's better to play it safe than sorry given the timeline.
As Branch points out, the 49ers are logical candidates to open the season at Seattle. It would certainly be a blowout affair (in excitement, not in score, well, unless it's the 49ers blowing out the Seahawks!), but I guess I just figured why would the NFL use a great matchup on a game that is going to get great ratings anyway. But, if you're the NFL, you could set some serious cable records with a 49ers-Seahawks opener. The NFL likes to prove it's the biggest and the best, and they LOVE flaunting their crazy TV ratings. So, I suppose that makes a lot more sense. With the schedule announcement coming in April, that means five months of all sorts of Sherman-Crabtree promotion!
Branch also pointed out that the 49ers will likely play their preseason home games in Week 2 and 3. The San Jose Earthquakes will host the Seattle Sounders on August 2. A Week 2 preseason opener would give the 49ers some time to clean up the field after the soccer contest.