The pomp and circumstance surrounding the opening of Levi’s Stadium seems to have been mere months ago, but the home of the 49ers opened one year ago.
While welcoming over two million guests in the maiden year, the stadium is heading into it’s second year, almost quietly, with little pomp. Much has transpired in the confines of the venue since the inaugural event – a San Jose Earthquakes match against the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 in front of nearly 50,000 fans.
Since then, over 250 events have been held at Levi’s Stadium, including marquee events such as WrestleMania, the NHL Stadium Series, international soccer matches, concerts including The Grateful Dead, Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney, One Direction and an array of family events such as monster trucks and Monster Supercross. Not to mention ten 49ers games, three college football games and the first 49ers Rush Stadium Run and Fitness Challenge. Perhaps the biggest score for the stadium has yet to arrive — Super Bowl 50, coming in February 2016.
Though no over-the-top, fancy, celebratory gala celebrating the first year was held, stadium management is busy booking and planning hundreds of events, the grandeur and anticipated pomp being saved for the events transpiring within the stadium. Almost exactly one year after the stadium’s opening, the venue hosted one of it’s largest private events, “Cisco Rocks,” which saw Keith Urban, Christina Aguilera and others perform for employees of the San Jose tech company on July 27.
City management and 49ers executives are beyond thrilled with the stadium’s first year.
“It has been an historic and extremely successful inaugural year for Levi’s Stadium. It has established itself as the premier sports and entertainment destination in the South Bay hosting a wide variety of the worlds most iconic events to sold out crowds … The financial benefit has exceeded the most optimistic predictions with approximately $4 million in revenue coming to the general fund, allowing us to restore services cut during the Great Recession,” says Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews.
Matthews added that Stadium construction costs were $100 million less than estimated, and revenues generated reduced the stadium debt by nearly half of the overall investment in the first year. “The stadium is a catalyst for development with billions of dollars of private investment occurring around the site generating thousands of new jobs and additional tax revenues to support our schools and City services,” added Matthews.
City Finance Director Gary Ameling reported earlier this year that construction costs ended up coming in below the original estimate, which stadium project executive Jack Hill has reported being due to “excellent” project management and favorable weather. In addition, stadium financing also received a burst from Stadium Builders Licenses (SBLs), sold through the Santa Clara Stadium Authority. SBLs were expected to bring in a little over $500 million, but sales reached approximately $531.5 million.
The combination of reduced construction costs and increased SBL revenue allowed the Stadium Authority to repay debt quicker, reducing the projected stadium construction debt from $1.01 billion to $553.2 million.
“Considering the wide variety of high-profile events we hosted and the more than two million visitors we welcomed, Levi’s Stadium had an incredibly memorable first year and I am proud of the way our staff and venue partners continually work together to mitigate the challenges that come with opening a venue like this. As we prepare for another historic season that will conclude with Super Bowl 50 right here in Santa Clara, our team is focused on enhancing the service we provide our guests and making everyone’s visit to Levi’s Stadium more enjoyable,” says 49ers COO Al Guido.
The Charlie Wedemeyer high school all-star game takes place on Saturday, Aug. 1 and will allow attendees to also see a 49ers training camp following the game.
Additional upcoming events at Levi’s Stadium include Taylor Swift concerts on Aug. 14 and 15 and a Luke Bryan concert on Aug. 29. Visit http://www.levisstadium.com/events/category/tickets/ for a full list of events.