Shortly after the opening of Levi’s Stadium in 2014, fans have been vocal about being subjected to direct sunlight while sitting in the east side of the complex. The 49ers have explored solutions that would help them increase the shade on that side of the stadium, according to 49ers CEO Al Guido, but are ultimately not going to be able to move forward with any of them, he explained on Matt Maiocco’s 49ers Insider Podcast.
“We can’t add shade,” Guido said. “It’s not possible.
“What I can tell the fans is we’re committed to making their experience as best as it possibly can,” Guido said. “We understand there might be a game or two early in the season that might be warm. We cannot add shade. We cannot build a roof.”
@RexDEAFootball Can you guys fix Levi’s Stadium sunlight? The sun should shine on the eastern stands and not on the luxury suites. pic.twitter.com/EvegZf1kH4
— Azukay49 (@Azukay49) November 14, 2017
The design of the stadium, along with Federal Aviation regulations, make building a structure that would have to be significant in size impractical.
“A lot of it stems from FAA regulations,” said Guido, citing the proximity to San Jose International Airport. “Structurally, what I can tell you is even if you could do it, it would take years to get something up there. To hang something 230 feet, 240 feet from the air, it has to be a structure. It can’t be a sunshade or an umbrella or anything along those lines. It has to be substantial.”
As a consolation, the 49ers have dropped the price of cold, bottled water from $6 to $2 throughout the stadium. The team will also continue to provide free filtered water on the concourse.
“There’s no clear-cut way to deal with the early game heat issue,” Guido said. “We looked into it, and it’s just not a simple solution.”