The San Francisco 49ers open their 2014 regular season home schedule with a Sunday Night Football contest against the Chicago Bears. The game is going to be a particularly tough ticket, and given the big-time nature of the game, things like hotels will be an issue for some as well. San Jose Mercury News reporter Mike Rosenberg tweeted this out Monday afternoon.
It is not exactly surprising to see a hotel next door to the stadium get sold out so quickly. I decided to do a little more research, and it's not the only one. The Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara is also sold out during that period. Given how big a deal that first game is, hotels will be filling up fairly quickly. And I'd imagine hotels will be booked fairly solid for most 49ers game.
Given this sudden information, I thought it made sense to put together some helpful information for people planning on going to Levi's Stadium for a game this season. Immediately below I've embedded a Google Map featuring hotels in the vicinity of the stadium. I couldn't figure out how to add a pin for Levi's stadium, so for your orientation, the stadium is directly south of the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, which is labeled at the top center of the map.
As you can see, there are a good number of hotels, and I'd imagine plenty still have rooms available. Of course, given their proximity to Levi's Stadium, I'm guessing they won't be cheap.
The good news is that if you are going to travel to the Bay Area, you also can take advantage of the proximity the rest of the Bay Area has to Santa Clara thanks to public transportation. A lot of season ticket holders will look to just drive down and deal with parking at and near the stadium, but if you're just in town for a one-off visit, or you live in the Bay Area and don't have a car, there is plenty of public transportation available to get you to the stadium.
If you're coming up to visit, you don't need to feel restricted to hotels in and around Santa Clara. There are plenty of other options. If you fly into Mineta San Jose International Airport, you can find easy access to the stadium through the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). If you fly into San Francisco International Airport, you can stay anywhere in San Francisco, near the airport, or further down the peninsula, and get to Levi's via Caltrain to VTA. If you stay in Oakland, you can catch Amtrak down, or take BART to an express shuttle. There are countless options, all for fairly reasonable prices, and no parking headaches!
Here is a rundown of the various options. If you have any questions, or think I'm missing anything, let me know in the comments or on Twitter @ninersnation and I'll update as needed.
If you find a place in Santa Clara county, your best bet will be to take the VTA. The VTA is $2 each way, and there is a station right near Levi's Stadium. They will be running light rails and buses for an hour after each game, and you can check out a map of stops HERE. If you fly into San Jose Airport, there is a free shuttle from the airport to the airport VTA station, from which you can then go directly to the stadium.
If you were to stay up in San Francisco, or near San Francisco International Airport, Caltrain would get you down to the South Bay. If you're in downtown San Francisco, you can hop on Caltrain at 4th and King (list of stops). If you're closer to the airport, you can potentially take BART or a cab to the Millbrae BART/Caltrain station and catch the train from down there. Eventually the game-day train schedule will be released, at which point I'll get more information out. For now, the basic gist of it is you would take Caltrain down to the Mountain View stop.
When you get down to Mountain View, you would then hop on the VTA. This light rail service will drop off right next to Levi's Stadium in what will be a completely refurbished stop.
If you have a Clipper card, it will deduct $18 to make this trip. It's $7 each way on Caltrain, and then $2 each way on VTA. If you are buying just the individual passes coming down from San Francisco, there will be a stadium button that allows you to buy a day pass for $20.
The game-day schedule is not set, but to give you some comparisons, San Francisco to Mountain View on Caltrain ranges from 48 minutes to 74 minutes. The 48 minute "baby bullet" train runs twice, and I would imagine Caltrain will work that into the game-day service. VTA from Mountain View to the stadium is an additional 25-30 minutes, give or take. That means, you are looking at somewhere between 1 hr, 15 minutes and 1 hr, 45 minutes. It's not perfect, but you don't have to deal with parking.
If you want, you can find a place in the East Bay, staying all the way up in Oakland if you want. Oakland has a rep, but they've done a lot to revitalize the city, and I'd recommend staying downtown if you can. If you stay in Oakland, you have a couple options.
Amtrak: The Capitol Corridor train runs from north of Sacramento all the way down to a block from the stadium. In the Oakland area, you can catch it at Emeryville, Jack London Square, or near the Coliseum/Airport BART. It then drops off at a Santa Clara/Great America stop that is a very short walk to the stadium. The round trip total would be $32. From Jack London Square, it's a 53-minute train ride to the stadium.
BART: According to VTA, there will be an express bus to and from the Fremont BART station. If you stay in the East Bay, you could BART to Fremont and take the shuttle the 16 miles from Fremont to Levi's Stadium. The shuttle will reportedly run every 20 minutes, so if you did not want to take Amtrak, that will be an option.
I don't know that many folks would be staying in the Central Valley when coming from out of town, but if you live there and are trying to get to Levi's Stadium, the Altamont Corridor Express will be your transportation of choice. It picks up in Stockton, makes several pick-ups along the way, stops a block from the stadium, and is $13 each way.
TL;DR: You can stay most anywhere in the Bay Area and get to Levi's Stadium with relative ease thanks to the power of public transportation.