On this day ten years ago, the San Francisco 49ers organization, Santa Clara city officials and community members assembled in the overflow parking lot of California's Great America theme park. A section of gridiron turf was spread out over the paved asphalt with a large 49ers logo in the center. The iconic "SF" oval was packed with red dirt, awaiting ceremonial gold shovels that would pierce the surface on that clear spring evening and symbolize the beginning of construction for Levi's® Stadium.
San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York presided over the groundbreaking ceremony, a major milestone in the team's decades-long effort to build a new home venue for the storied franchise. The Santa Clara site was proposed as a potential location for the stadium, with city residents approving the project in June 2010 with the passing of Measure J. The 49ers headquarters had been in Santa Clara since 1988, and the new stadium would be built right next to the team's administrative building and practice facility.
49ers staff had prepared a program that featured local talent and a festive atmosphere befitting the once-in-a-lifetime event. Alumni and (then) current roster members spoke at the event as well, connecting the organization's notable past to its bright future. Guests in attendance were gifted OSHA-certified construction helmets decorated to look like that of a 49ers football helmet, and were treated to servings of a large cake shaped like the future stadium.
Construction on the 1.85 million square foot facility followed over the next two years, and the venue opened in August 2014. Levi's® Stadium was designed to be a state-of-the-art home for both 49ers home games and other large-scale events. In its nine years of operation, the stadium has hosted hundreds of events of all sizes including corporate holiday parties, WrestleMania 31, a National Hockey League Stadium Series game, the 2019 College Football National Championship game and domestic and international soccer games. Most notably, Levi's® Stadium hosted Super Bowl 50, the golden anniversary game for one of the largest sporting events in the world. Levi's® Stadium will welcome back concerts in 2022, and is a finalist among North American venues to host World Cup games in 2026.