San Francisco 49ers Reject Reports that Levi’s Stadium Was Poorly Built, Draws Poor Crowds

NFL ratings are supposedly down because of player protests—and not excessive brain damage claims, or off-field violence against women, or crass military propaganda—which all started with former Niner Colin Kaepernick taking a knee last season. But attendance appears to be dwindling as well. TV cameras and social media posts from reporters have shown a sea of vacant red seats during kickoff and halftime at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. A few holier-than-thou 49ers sportswriters whipped themselves into an unwritten-rule lather on Oct. 22, when Hall-of-Famer Dwight Clark, who’s been diagnosed with ALS, gave a heartfelt speech to a half-empty crowd. Apparently, good players deserve a delayed bathroom break and doffed cap while thousands of other NFL bodies should be considered expendable and deservedly forgotten as the fans flush. Fly reached out to 49ers flacks to see just how bad things have gotten, but everything is apparently all sunny in Levi’s Stadium—and not just the sunbaked east side. The team claims that 55,000 dutiful patrons came through the turnstiles last Sunday to watch a slogfest with the Arizona Cardinals, and all those empty chairs are actually due to fans enjoying more than six different club areas. But according to sources, the 49ers’ argument that they simply built a stadium that is too fan friendly is BS. Word is John York, the father of 49ers CEO Jed York, had quite a bit of input on stadium design more than 10 years ago, back when the plan was to build in San Francisco. Various media reports have suggested the 49ers more or less stuck with the same stadium specs and tried to fit a square peg in a round hole in Santa Clara, where the lows can be roughly 20 degrees warmer than Hunters Point. Fly also heard that the stadium had to be turned slightly to the west to fit the property boundaries, resulting in even more sunshine on the stands. Niners officials disputed past reports and Fly’s sources, noting that York “was involved” in the design but wasn’t playing Legos with Levi’s. As for the heat issues, the 49ers said the stadium’s positioning is close enough to due north and they’re waiting to hear back from architectural firm Populous to find ways to keep things cool.

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. Of course Levi’s doesn’t draw poor crowds. Poor people cannot afford it. Neither can most middle class people for that matter.

  2. Play more morning and evening games. NFL tv viewership is down, so propose new viewing times for tv. Years ago no team wanted to play on Thanksgiving so Jerry Jones took the chance and look what he started.

    • The Thanksgiving games predated Jerry Jones by decades. The Lions have been playing the game since 1945. The Cowboys started in the 60s. He didn’t start squat.

      • Not started as the very first football game played on Thanksgiving, but started as a popular tradition and something big to look forward to on Thanksgiving. The high school I went to has had the traditional “Big Bone” game played on Thanksgiving. This year is the 75 Anniversary.

      • A reward?? According to today’s scheduling. If rating and viewership is down time to change the thinking. Nowadays people work weekends, do chores around the house, running around with their families. Evening viewership has always been higher.

  3. All is well! Nothing to see here! Well, ok…..
    The NFL had a good run but now is basically unwatchable with untalented players who earn millions paid by NFL owners who perpetuate the theory that somehow if they pay players millions they must be good. Yeah, right…. You can put out all the PR you want but Levi stadium is a piece of crap!

  4. > NFL ratings are supposedly down because of player protests—and not excessive brain damage claims, or off-field violence against women, or crass military propaganda—which all started with former Niner Colin Kaepernick taking a knee last season.

    Come on, Fly! This is just boilerplate left wing narrative. You just say things because they’re on your talking points list.

    Have you EVER in your life met ANYONE, including a left wing kook, who claimed that the only reason they didn’t watch the NFL was that it was “crass military propaganda”?

    As far as I know, not even Colin Kaepernick claimed “crass military propaganda” as among his reasons for his attention-seeking.

    It’s really insulting and demeaning to people when you say stupid things as if you expect that your audience is stupid enough to believe it.

    • Along the same lines…

      “Apparently, good players deserve a delayed bathroom break and doffed cap while thousands of other NFL bodies should be considered expendable and deservedly forgotten as the fans flush.”

      I’ve never seen any reason to believe that football fans consider players’ bodies to be expendable, but I’ve seen plenty of reason to believe that fans wholeheartedly embrace the tradition of honoring returning heroes, especially those crippled or facing death (examples: Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Darryl Stingley).

      Based upon mounds of empirical evidence, concussive damage must come with the job… of journalism.

      • The reason the stands were half empty when the 49er’s & their former stars honored Dwight Clark,was because most of those in attendance didn’t really know who he was or when he played. Many of the fans who saw Dwight play his last game in 1987 have either died,moved or moved on. It’s a shame that today’s fans would disrespect a former star & Super Bowl Champion who is ill & could be making his final public appearance at a 49er game. “The Catch” is that of course he deserved better & his fame unfortunately like his time is fleeting.

        • Waxy:

          Professional sports is fantasy.

          The malignant SJW’s destroyed the fantasy with their ugly identity politics/tribal warfare narrative.

          All the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put the Humpty Dumpty’s fantasy together again.

          • I would have to say just about every 49er fan knows who Dwight Clark is. They talk about “The Catch” every time the 49ers and Cowboys play. Replay videos show him catching the ball in the end zone.

          • Professional sports are real,electing a Republican in the South Bay is a fantasy ! Bubble = Boob

  5. Santa Clara voters were sold a bogus fantasy package by slick hucksters that will cost them plenty of money and problems for many, many years to come.

  6. NFL millionaire player disrespect America, The Flag, the National Anthem, and American soldiers fine!
    Go play your silly kids game in Nicaragua for food.

    In the meantime these spoiled brats beat their women, drink too much, OD on steroids and opiates isn’t that sweet. Instead for raping women, Go F#<? your selves in the @zz.
    Not a dime will I spend on you or your sponsors.
    *&#%U and your stadium.

  7. There are many reasons for fans avoiding Levi Stadium ! The 49er’s abandoned generations of their real fans in San Francisco,forcing them to travel 40 miles to Santa Clara. God awful 0-9 team. The skyrocketing cost of tickets,parking,beverages,food & concessions. Atrocious traffic & parking problems. Stifling heat during daytime events. Early curfews because of the complaints about the noise level at nighttime rock & roll & country western concerts,that in turn shortchanges fans who purchased $100.00 + tickets. The smug 49er ownership & the inept Santa Clara City Council !

    Reasons that attendance & viewership of NFL games is declining ? The rising cost of attending games. Teams that are just awful season after season. Turnover of favorite players. The relocation of teams that demonstrates the NFL’s utter contempt for their long term fans. Oversaturation – NFL games on TV four days a week & college & high school games filling in the gaps. Other things to do with their time & money such as – MLB,the NBA & NHL,College & High School Sports,Auto Racing,Boxing,UFC,WWE, Concerts & Comedy Shows. Then there’s the Internet,Facebook,Twitter,Blogs,Netflix,Amazon & other Broadband Providers,Cable & Satellite TV,Radio,reading & time spent with family & friends. An aging & dying fan base of those affluent enough to buy season tickets for themselves & their families. The games violent nature. Season & career ending injuries to star players. The concussions & brain damage which has ultimately resulted in fewer people allowing their children to play football in youth leagues & high school. The political polarization of players protesting police brutality & the misguided attack on these players by President Trump,the right-wing media & conservative season ticket holders (who comprise a large number of those who can afford to attend games every week). It’s a sign of the times we live in today & there’s no easy solution in sight !

    • Then there’s Papa John’s Pizza,a sponsor of NFL Football “The Pizza of the NFL” ! The owner & founder of Papa John’s Pizza John Schnatter has blamed the NFL players kneeling during the pregame playing of our “National Anthem”,in protest of police brutality for their declining pizza sales. Whether there’s even a smidgen of truth in his assessment is debatable. What’s not debatable is that Papa John’s isn’t very good pizza,not very good at all. Sure it’s better than Little Caesar’s (that’s not saying much) & on a par with Pizza Hut or Domino’s pizzas,but nowhere near as good as Round Table,Mountain Mike’s or even Papa Murphy’s. Then there’s the owner himself John Schnatter ! While he’s never been shy about sharing his political views,up until this point they weren’t known to most of his customers. He’s an Evangelical Christian conservative who has badmouthed Obamacare on numerous occasions. He’s a vocal supporter of President Trump who helped bankroll his campaign & inauguration. Singing the praises of a President who has an approval rating of less than 40% is no recipe for success,in fact it may turn out to be a recipe for disaster. Now that he’s decided to take sides in an issue where the vast majority of players & protesting players are black,there will certainly be a backlash in the minority community. This will in turn cause the sales of Papa John’s cheap pizzas to plummet even more than they have already. He’s accomplished the nearly impossible feat of sticking his foot in his pie hole,while shooting himself in the other foot simultaneously. Now everyone knows just who he is & what he stands for with no one to blame but himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of his franchisees filed lawsuits claiming that he has sabotaged their sales & devalued their investments. Thanks for letting everyone know who you really are John,you’ve not only crippled your own business,but destroyed those of many of your franchisees as well. Only Trump can pardon you now !

  8. Dear Commi Herb,
    This Sunday while I’m boycotting NFL football, I’ll buy a Papa John’s Pizza and watch a rerun of Red Dawn.


    • Round Table “The Last Honest Pizza” ! Papa John’s “Empty Gun The Last Delusional Customer” ! I spent my Sunday eating good pizza while drinking craft beer & smoking cannabis with my friends. We had a great time watching the 49ers game at a neighborhood watering hole. It sounds like your Sunday (like every other day of your miserable life) really sucked. Papa John’s pizza is just damn awful,but then again you never did have any taste. I threw my VHS cassette of Red Dawn out when my VHS player broke over twenty-five years ago,but it’s no surprise that you’re thirty years behind the times in more ways than one. Be careful when you pet your wolverine,or is that just another metaphor for choking your chicken ? Did you know that it’s still illegal to choke your chicken in many Red States on a Sunday ? That’s the likely reason why they call them can’t get Blew (Blown ?) Laws. You can ask your hero Roy Moore about it,when he grew tired of choking his chicken he just started molesting young chicks instead ! Praise another Bible thumping hypocrite !!!

  9. Dear dirty commi herb,
    I see you and Carlos Danger have the same one track mind. Smoke pot and molesting teens, You seem to obsess on drugs and debauchery. Roy Moore, never heard of him till last week. Found out he was a Democrat back in those days 40 years ago, I guess that why the never mentioned him till now. Unmarried girls over 16 were old maids or your sister to a Democrat. Just ask Sick Willy or the Dead Kennedy’s

    I streamed Red Dawn off Direct TV on to my 65″ 4k Samsung. It was great watching whiny libs, and useful idiots getting machine gunned down by their own commi hero’s.
    Then there is that haunting symbol of American Justice the Colt .45 putting down miserable Russian, Cuban, Nicaraguan, and traitorous American mud sucking pond scum. Michael Moore could never make a good movie like that!

    By the way I think I’ll go buy a big Bible to put my 45 in.
    Where do you keep your weed in your Koran?
    Thanks for the idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *