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Levi’s Stadium receives rave reviews during Monday’s national championship game

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When Jed York and 49ers’ braintrust moved it’s headquarters from beloved Candlestick down to a new shiny stadium down in Santa Clara, CA – an hour away from the team’s namesake city – they most likely expected some public outcry. Sure, the new facility would be top notch; but change is hard, and an hour-long drive is an hour-long drive.

Monday night’s College Football Championship game showed us Jed York’s vision, and what Levi’s Stadium could be if a certain professional team was playing meaningful games heading into the winter months.

The fans were loud. The stands were shaking. The field was magnificent. It was easy to move about the area despite a sellout crowd just shy of 75,000.

And people noticed. The group probably best equipped to comment on the state of the stadium for the College Football Championship were the 49ers beat writers who were there covering the event. Almost across the board the stadium got positive reviews:

Getting fans down to the stadium has been a challenge, but any team with back-to-back-to-back-to-back losing seasons would struggle with the same problem. It’s been the subject of a few empty stadium tweets from time to time, with more empty red seats in attendance than 49ers fans for many 4th quarters over the last few years.

Not the case on Monday night. And Levi’s was rocking:

The field has also been a problem in the past for the stadium. Players will often slip on the turf at the stadium. Again, not a problem on Monday:

I get it, nothing will ever replace Candlestick Park. And moving the 49ers of San Francisco an hour (with no traffic) south to Santa Clara may never win over the diehard fans. But Monday night’s game showed us the good that came out of the team’s move to the South Bay.

In a vacuum, Levi’s is a state-of-the art stadium that looks magnificent when dressed up, has the capacity to facilitate extremely large games (and crowds), and gets loud when it’s packed with screaming fans.

The problem remains just that – getting those screaming fans in the seats.


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