S.F. 49ers reveal stadium details

The San Francisco 49ers today announced an update on design plans for the interior of a new 68,000 seat world-class stadium at Candlestick Point in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point community. The team’s goal is to construct the new stadium to replace its 46-year-old current venue, Monster Park, in time for the 2012 NFL season.
“We’re designing our new stadium from the inside out to ensure it’s packed with the right amenities to create an unparalleled game day experience for each and every one of our fans,” said team co-owner John York. He added that he is thankful for the strong working relationships with the City that have helped the team proceed with the overall project.

The team and its architect, HNTB Architecture Inc., are planning a state-of-the-art, open-air venue with optimal sightlines from every seat. The new stadium will feature elevated promenades, wide concourses with views of the action on the field from every level, and plazas that are open to the public year-round.

Among the distinctive elements of the venue is a design that connects the stadium to the community and the San Francisco Bay throughout the building, including an open view corridor at the north end to incorporate vistas of the City skyline and Bay. The venue also features a large lower bowl with seating for two-thirds of fans and an upper deck that is lower and closer to the action on the field, made possible by a vertical suite complex stacked entirely on the west side of the stadium.

“The new 49ers stadium will be representative of the unique urban, architectural and social qualities of San Francisco,” said HNTB principal-in-charge Tony Gonzales.

The team announced that the new stadium will be expandable to host premiere events like the Super Bowl or the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, should the City be successful in its bid for the 2016 Summer Games. The stadium is also designed to accommodate Major League Soccer and FIFA World Cup events.

In developing a stadium plan, York said the design team traveled extensively to football, baseball, basketball and NASCAR venues throughout the country, as well as soccer stadiums throughout the world, to study the fan experience and bring the best features and amenities to their design. York added that he envisions construction of the new venue to occur next to Monster Park to allow the team to continue to play its home games there until the new stadium is complete.

As part of the team’s stadium design update, York also confirmed the 49ers goal of financing the venue without relying on the $100 million in revenue bonds approved by San Francisco voters in 1997 under Proposition D.

“We know there is public concern about using the bond money approved by the voters, so our goal is to find alternative ways to finance the new stadium,” said York. While an exact price has not been determined, York estimates it will cost between $600 and $800 million to construct the new stadium.

Crucial to the 49ers goal of privately financing the stadium is the construction of a retail, entertainment and mixed-use development at Candlestick Point in the empty lots adjacent to Monster Park, which was authorized by voters in San Francisco in 1997 under Proposition F. The team’s development partner, Lennar Corp., is currently conducting a feasibility study and should present an initial land use plan to the City of San Francisco and the public later this summer, which will frame the next steps for the community and environmental review process. Lennar and 49ers executives will work closely with the City and community leaders in the Bayview-Hunters Point area for approval of the plan.

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