The 49ers started their fourth season in Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, and the #trafficproblems in Santa Clara were in midseason form.
The factors contributing to troubling images of sparse attendance have nothing to do with conditions outside the stadium, and everything to do with conditions inside them.
“It’s a bad team, ripped from its historic roots, playing in a flawed building, charging exorbitant prices,” explains Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Complicating matters are the conditions on hot days. As noted by Killion, the kickoff temperature for Sunday’s game against Carolina was 87, which caused many to flee the sunny side of the stadium for the shade, contributing to the photo Killion captured and tweeted during the game of hardly anyone in the stands.
Killion also explains that the 49ers have hired an architecture firm to “review a number of aspects of the stadium with the goal of enhancing the fan experience . . . to investigate feasible solutions to address concerns regarding warm weather days, both for the short and long terms.”
One possibility is a canopy, like the one installed recently in Miami. But Levi’s Stadium is tall, and issues already exist regarding the height of the building and the flight path in and out of the San Jose airport.
Whatever the 49ers do, they need to do something, or one or more somethings. Win, improve the stadium, and/or cut prices. Without that, get ready to see more pictures of people not seeing the 49ers play in person.