Opening in just one month on Saturday, August 2 for the San Jose Earthquakes’ match against Seattle Sounders FC, Levi’s Stadium is nearly complete. Over the next several weeks, the finishing touches will be made to the stadium, which may become the first LEED Gold certified NFL stadium.
From the plush red carpeting and pristine walnut-finished lockers in the 49ers’ locker room, to the nearly 2,500 high definition Sony TVs throughout, to the player’s auditorium for post-game interviews, the over $1 billion stadium is chock full of the finest amenities and state-of-the-art technology.
The player’s auditorium features comfortable, luxurious, “big-man” seats, each with an electrical outlet, plus several TV screens, along with an intricate area for TV and news crews to plug in their equipment for live post-game interviews and broadcasting. A new “satellite” room will feature Wi-Fi along with several TV screens for live broadcasting, replacing “the trailer” utilized at Candlestick.
Project manager Jack Hill, who was involved with the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., said both stadiums have unique qualities. “It was Jed York’s vision for this stadium to be the smartest stadium, not the biggest … Technology has evolved, and from the get go, everything at Levi’s Stadium was intended to be state-of-the-art and future looking,” he said. “Technology has evolved even from five years ago when the Dallas stadium opened.” The modern amenities include stadium-wide Wi-Fi, delivered via a distributed antenna system, which will provide much better access than single antenna systems.
In working to become LEED Gold certified, the stadium features 49 solar panels on the rooftop, along with a first-ever 27,000 square foot “green roof,” that has 16 varieties of local, drought-resistant plants. Not only does this provide insulation, it also features a premium area available to select suite holders, and will be available for private events. The roof overlooks the stadium from the highest, accessible viewing area. Furthering the eco-friendliness, more than 75 percent of construction material waste was recycled. “We have tried to conserve everything possible and re-use as many items as possible,” said Hill.
The stadium will be self-sufficient in electricity, thanks to photovoltaic electricity generated from its solar-paneled pedestrian bridges and the solar-paneled roof deck—the NRG Solar Terrace. In addition, 100 percent of the wood used in the Citrix Owners Suites is reclaimed wood from a local airplane hangar at Moffett Field. Reclaimed water is also being used in an array of capacities, such as for irrigating the playing field.
The playing field is taking form as well, with field yard markers painted fresh on June 24. Field maintenance is currently done every other day.
Currently, 700 workers are working around-the-clock, down from the peak of 1,200 workers during the heavy construction phases. Though the stadium is approximately 97 percent completed, much still remains to be completed before the first public event.
Most of the items being completed are aesthetic, such as finishing touches on landscaping, merchandise sales booths, food concession areas, locker rooms and other simple, yet equally important tasks.
For more information on Levi’s Stadium, visit www.levisstadium.com.