The San Francisco 49ers announced to the San Jose Mercury News that they have "sold out" their first season at Levi's Stadium. I put "sold out" in quotation marks because there will be a small allotment of single game tickets. The team is going to have 1,500 standing room only tickets that will be available at some price cheaper than the $85 upper deck seats. The standing room area will ring the seating bowl on the lower level, and there will be some standing room in the upper level.
Additionally, the team will release as many as 400 tickets on the Thursday before a given home game (not sure when that will be for Thanksgiving), although there will some limitations on that. In order to have a chance at purchasing these individual tickets, you will need to join the Faithful 49 fan program. It's free to join, and it operates a little like some cross between frequent flyer miles, and the skee ball game you played as a kid that allowed you to accumulate tickets. You get points for doing different things (some free, some cost), and the more points you get, the higher you rank. Those "up to 400" individual tickets will only be available if you are part of the program. Additionally, you will need to be high up in the rankings to have a shot at purchasing these tickets.
What does that all mean? Well, you better plan on paying through the nose on TiqIQ, NFL Ticket Exchange, StubHub and Vivid Seats. If you are fine waiting and seeing how this plays out, you're more than welcome to, but if you need to plan a trip to a Levi's Stadium-based 49ers game, start checking the secondary ticket market. Such is the life of playing in a new stadium.
The Mercury News article goes into the financial details, but this means the team has brought in or been promised a lot of the money needed to pay off the stadium. The facility cost $1.3 billion, and includes a loan of $850 million. According to the 49ers, the stadium builders' licenses (SBLs) brought in $530 million. That money will be turned over to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority to pay down the loans. The 49ers have reportedly sold $400 million in luxury suites, and the 49ers and Stadium Authority will split the $220 million in naming rights money from Levi's.
It is worth noting that this money is not coming to the team in one lump sum. The naming rights deal is over 20 years, and the SBLs are financed for a lot of people. The 49ers very well could somehow lose out on some of this money, but I don't think they'll have any issues paying down the $850 million in loans. And they'll make just a few dollars on top of that. It's good to be the king right now.
Mike Rosenberg had one interesting stat about the sell-out. 70 percent of Candlestick season ticket holders made the transition down to Levi's Stadium. Rosenberg said that the typical renewal rate at Candlestick Park has been 95 percent. It's disappointing some folks won't be able to make the trip down, but the change in location and the cost was going to hurt some of the fans anyway. It's disappointing, but unfortunately some fans were going to be sacrificed to get a new stadium built. It's fine to complain about it, but as many an athlete says, it is what it is.
And for those who are no longer going to be attending games because of the prices, just remember that you can get drunk at home for a lot cheaper. Oh, also, no bathroom lines, and you can cook up your own food for a lot cheaper. Gotta be glass half full!