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49ers engage architecture firm to review short, long-term options for improved stadium experience

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At some point they have to address the problem of too much sun on the east side of the stadium.

The San Francisco 49ers began their fourth season at Levi’s Stadium this year, and it sounds like the organization is recognizing they have some problems to address. Ann Killion tweeted on Monday that the organization has engaged with an architecture firm to consider some short and long term options to improve the fan experience.

Over the course of four seasons, there have been several complaints about the stadium, but arguably the most serious is the lack of shade on the east side of the stadium. On Sunday, it was a clear sunny day, and with temperatures particularly high lately in the Bay Area, reports had it over 100 degrees on the field.

Even when it’s not a ridiculously high temperature (for the Bay Area), the lack of shade over the east side of the stadium has created substantial problems for fans. Many spend chunks of the game under cover, and generally speaking, when it is a sunny day, particularly during the early part of football season, it is miserable.

The team plays their August preseason home games at night because it simply gets too hot to be bearable for many fans. It’s bad enough for anybody, but for children and older fans, it can lead to serious health issues. I realize the temperatures mentioned are not as hot as some people experience on a regular basis, but sitting in the beating sun for three or four hours is not a good thing for anybody.

There is no word yet on what the architecture firms will suggest, or what this all might mean moving forward. The stadium could use an overhang that covers the east side of the stadium, but I can’t even imagine how that would start to happen. It’s a costly change to make, but at some point something has to be done to improve the situation.