The 49ers will celebrate Levi’s® Stadium’s ribbon-cutting on Thursday, so 49ers.com gets you ready with coverage of the team’s homes, past and present.
RELATED: Book a Tour at Levi's® Stadium
We recently sat down with San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York to discuss his feelings on the work that took place to make the new venue happen, plus to hear his excitement on the stadium’s inaugural season in 2014.
Q: When you look back at what it took to complete the stadium, what was the key moment that made it a reality?
A: I think the first real key moment was winning Santa Clara’s Measure J election in 2010. There was a lot of work that went into it, but getting the public support and a resounding 60-40 victory, that was really when I felt like, “OK, this thing has a great chance.” And then the next big step was securing the financing, the construction financing. The two things that you really need are community support and funding. And those were the two really big pieces of this.
Q: Who would you say was an unheralded contributor that really worked hard to make the stadium happen?
A: There were so many people who did that. When you look at the City of Santa Clara, Kevin Moore and Patty Mahan, Jamie Mathews, they really spearheaded us from a political standpoint and were great for us. From the 49ers, it was just a collection of people working, whether it was the finance team, the sales team, there were so many people. I don’t know that I can single out one unsung hero.
A: I haven’t figured it out yet. It’ll be different just going to a new place. I’ve only been to home games at Candlestick, so it will definitely be a different experience for us. I’m looking forward to being able to walk around the concourses, being able to walk around and see folks. Another place, our suite, will be a lot more family-oriented and very intimate. I’m looking forward to that and having a better viewing of the field. I think It’s going to be so easy to connect with so many people at Levi’s® Stadium.
Q: Have you had a chance to reflect about this whole journey as games and events are about to start taking place?
A: Yeah, I mean you think about that every once in a while and it’s different now with having a son. I think about it, and I don’t know how people can do it when they have children. So, I’m very fortunate, I have a son now, but I’m very fortunate that he wasn’t here when I was doing the pre-stadium work because I wouldn’t want to miss that time. I think about that when I see people sacrificing time with their family and their loved ones and really grinding to really finish this project. And I definitely reflect on a lot of the hours that were spent here and some sleepless nights and things like that.
Q: What do you fans will experience Week 2 when the 49ers play their first home game in front of a national audience?
A: It’s going to be the game that the entire country watches. It’s going to be an unbelievable spectacle. I think our fans are going to really appreciate the hard work that went into Levi’s® Stadium, and I think they’re going to see it’s not just lip-service that we said we wanted an unparalleled fan experience. I think they’re going to see that and experience it for the first time. And it’s going to take everybody a little bit of time to adjust to Levi’s® Stadium and figure out what is their typical gameday experience. Overall, I think they’re going to see great football on the field, and they’re going to have an unparalleled fan experience.