The stadium has to be cursed at this point, doesn't it? The latest confirmation of this comes from a report by NBC Bay Area. Apparently, the lights at Levi's Stadium at night are creating problems for pilots flying into San Jose Mineta International Airport. There have been six complaints to the FAA by pilots regarding issues ranging from the lights being tested at night, to a sign on the stadium that could potentially be mistaken during bad weather for a runway.
The FAA issued a safety alert bulletin stating that "[d]uring lighting tests and scheduled events at Levi Stadium, there is an increased potential for distraction to pilots created by stadium lighting and the two large Jumbo-Tron screens that emit high intensity lighting ... These high intensity light operations may cause a visibility hazard, glare, or a distraction within 2,000 feet vertically and 12,000 feet laterally of the light source."
The stadium is situated near the flight path of San Jose's airport. If you are in the stadium before the game, you can see plans flying off the west side of the stadium. It's not the only stadium in a flight path, but it is kind of crazy to think these issues exist. The FAA relayed concerns to the stadium authority last year, and the group "agreed to provide the FAA with advanced notice of all scoreboard testing and not to test or calibrate it at night during scheduled airfield hours."
The San Francisco 49ers issued this statement on the matter:
Stadium management actively collaborates with the FAA as it relates to large scale events held at Levi's Stadium and has not been made aware of any concerns with the stadium's video boards since last year when the boards were being initially tested and calibrated. We have a great appreciation for the FAA and have worked with them to establish protocols and guidelines in the event the boards need to be recalibrated. Our top priority is always to maintain the highest level of safety and security for all guests visiting Levi's Stadium as well as the general public.
There appears to be some confusion as to the timing of some of this, and when light testing has been happening. The 49ers had a late game to open Week 1, kicking off at 7:20 p.m. PT on Monday. They have two more prime time games scheduled for this season, including Week 7 vs. the Seattle Seahawks, and Week 15 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. The Seahawks game kicks off at 5:25 p.m., and the Bengals game kicks off at 5:30 p.m.
It's clearly just the curse though, right?