Levi’s Stadium played host to the Foster Farms Bowl on Wednesday, and while it was a fun ending, neither Indiana or Utah traveled particularly well for the game. The Utes won 26-24 with a field goal at 1:24, but the most interesting thing for San Francisco 49ers fans would be the big red tarp covering the upper deck seats.
USC student newspaper sports editor Eric He posted this picture of the seats. Apparently he might be ready to join the 49ers empty seat beat!
Apparently, 27,608 tickets were "distributed" for the Foster Farms Bowl. Probably a quarter of that bothered to show up pic.twitter.com/rrLqqPOKUc— Eric He (@erichesports) December 29, 2016
The people in charge of the bowl game were doing anything and everything to get people to attend the game. I graduated from the University of San Francisco sports management masters program, and they were offering free pairs of tickets to students and alumni. The Foster Farms Bowl is not exactly a high profile game, so anything to get people to the game, right?
What I actually found most interesting was the tarp. A picture of it was floating around Twitter a week or two ago, and given the lack of interest in the Foster Farms Bowl, it is not surprising they would use tarps. We are starting to see tarps used more often as teams look to come up with ways to cover up the fact that attendance is in the toilet for an event.
Where it gets interesting in this instance is the 49ers attendance issues. They have sold out the stadium, but there has been an issue with turnstile. Well, there is a perceived issue with turnstile. The 49ers will not be putting big red Levi’s Stadium tarps on seating sections anytime soon. It might one day be an issue, but it will not be anytime soon with the sales they’ve pushed on PSLs and then the tickets themselves. To tarp off whole sections would require actually not selling season tickets in those areas. We see it with the Oakland Raiders and Oakland A’s. Although, the Coliseum tarps might be coming off for the playoffs.
The 49ers have to get this product turned around, but for sales purposes, they do not appear to be anywhere near the position where they will need to use these tarps for NFL games. That could always change, and I will never say never, but for the time being, we can just joke about the lack of attendance at the Foster Farms Bowl.