Fooch's Update: Here's your preseason schedule
The NFL announced earlier this morning that they will release the 2014 preseason schedule later today at 12:15 p.m. PT. Considering we're all wandering through the desert of the offseason, even just the preseason schedule release is cause for celebration!
The San Francisco 49ers preseason schedule will of course feature the usual four games, and we can verify that they will be home Weeks 2 and 3, and on the road Weeks 1 and 4. The contract with the construction folks is giving them a little extra time to get the stadium ready to go for football. The first event at Levi's Stadium will be an MLS match on August 2. There is an expected non-sports event on August 12 (I can't reveal what at this point), then the two games. The 49ers fourth preseason game will be on the Thursday before final roster cuts, and as we know, the team is not in a position to host week-day prime time games. That game normally kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT.
The 49ers normally play the San Diego Chargers in the preseason, alternating between San Francisco and San Diego. If the pattern continues, they will host the Chargers either Week 2 or Week 3. They are not expected to restart the Raiders preseason series, although I suspect that will get started again once they get settled into Levi's Stadium.
This year's preseason is unique because it marks the first football ever at Levi's Stadium. The preseason provides a sort of "soft opening" for the stadium. It will likely get good crowds even for those preseason games, but it still is not quite regular season. It will give the team and stadium operations a chance to see how things will operate for everything from parking, to concessions, to the stadium apps allowing for ease of use for fans, to even just stadium lights.
For fans, it provides a chance to figure out their travel plans down to the stadium. What could more important is the chance to actually make some money on preseason tickets. In order to purchase season tickets to an NFL team, one has to purchase the two preseason home games. It's generally a rip-off because you're often paying the same price as regular season games, but you know you won't see regular season quality football.
Normally, people will try and unload preseason tickets in one of two ways: 1) they will sell them for much less than face value so they at least don't eat the entire cost, or 2) if a friend wants to buy a regular season ticket at face value, they will also have to pay face for the preseason as well.
However, for this one year, 49ers season ticket holders might actually be able to cash in their tickets for at least face value independent of any other tickets. These will be the first two NFL games at Levi's Stadium, so there is a certain historic nature to them. If you're a season ticket holder and want to go to the game, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. But if you're looking to recoup at least a little bit of the cost of what are not cheap tickets, you might actually be able to unload them for decent money. If I had season tickets, I would probably go to at least one of the preseason games, and really would probably want to go to that first preseason game as the "first" 49ers game at Levi's Stadium. But I can understand needing to make some money back on this investment.