Is Levi’s Stadium Too Expensive
For The Average Fan?

How to save money at Levi's Stadium
By Arnie Papp (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Is Levi’s Stadium for the average fan?

Well, with prices like…

  • $10.25 for a beer (highest)
  • $60 parking (2nd highest)
  • $10.25 steamed buns (about 8x what you’d pay at San Francisco’s Chinatown)
…I really don’t think so.

To be fair, the 49ers are not the only team to build a new stadium designed to attract and accommodate corporate accounts, celebrities, sponsors, & investors, only to put the squeeze on working class fans.

To be fair, there are also teams that have forsaken profits in their new homes in favor of good will (publicity?) toward customers with limited budgets.

The Dallas Cowboys, for instance, offer a standing-room “Party Pass” ticket for just 30 bucks. The New York Yankees added $5 obstructed-view seating (discontinued as of this season).

And the Atlanta Falcons will achieve their goal of having the lowest concession prices in major team sports by offering $2 hot dogs and $5 beers when their new facility debuts later this year.

The 49ers? They give you a season tailgate pass for $5000 (that’s $625 per game).

Are they trying to alienate the average fan? It would be silly to think that any pro sports franchise would have that intent, yet the team, on top of building Levi's Stadium an hour away from the town they’re supposed to represent, have pulled stunts like this and this.

So while it won’t be easy, there are…

A few ways to save money at Levi’s Stadium

Tickets.   The Niners average face value ticket price of $117 was the 5th highest in 2016. And while secondary market prices have dropped since the San Francisco 49ers stadium opened in 2014, the average initial resale ticket cost of $267 for the upcoming year is the highest ever for a team coming off a 2-win season.

Anyway, as I mentioned here, you can save a few bucks on tickets by simply comparison shopping:

Coast To
$82 $90 $72 $89 $96 $90 $110 $91 $82 $82 $88
Prices are for the 49ers home opener Sep 10 vs. Carolina as of 5/20/17, and are per seat, minimum 2, including all fees.

Parking.   The face value cost of a Levi’s Stadium parking pass is $60, but you can pay $300 or more for a Premium Green Lot space online. Or, you can spend as little as $40 for a Blue Lot pass right here. But don’t wait - the dearth of private garages and street parking in the area leaves very few alternatives.

Parking pass prices Sept. 10 vs. Carolina (as of 5/20)
Coast To
$49 $53 $47 $72 $40

Local regulations make street parking prohibitive, but here’s an old Reddit thread that suggests there are spaces within 2 miles, from which point you can take the light rail to the stadium.

Food & Drink.   Again, there are few options here. There are only 3 sports bars within 3 miles of Levi’s Stadium. Knockout and SmokeEaters offer typical pub grub at prices that are cheaper than the stadium’s. Characters Sports Bar (located inside the Marriot Hotel) is a bit more expensive - burgers start at $17 - but draft and bottled beers are 8 bucks, or $2.25 less than what you’d pay at Levi’s.

The benefit of going to Characters is that you can park in the hotel’s lot for the game for about $25.

3 Money-saving tricks to make games affordable that the 49ers & Levi's Stadium don't always tell you.

Tailgating.   There are basically 4 tailgating options at Levi's Stadium (other than your own), ranging anywhere from free to the ridiculous…

  • 49ers Webzone Tailgate - The website invites you to “Bring some food or drinks if you can. If you can’t though, still feel free to join us…”. This doesn’t mean you should take advantage by freeloading.
  • Club 49 Tailgate Crew - This is another fan-organized “pot luck” type tailgate party, but it’s a bit more stringent than the 49ers Webzone. From the Club 49 Tailgate Crew’s “etiquette” page: “Do NOT show up empty handed.”
  • Red Zone Rally - At $850 for the season, this is the cheaper of the team-sponsored pre-game tailgate parties, and includes a roller coaster ride at nearby Great America. (Is that supposed to be a deal breaker?)
  • Michael Mina’s Tailgate - This is the aforementioned $5000 tailgate party. This article suggests that it’s “worth every penny”. If you can afford it, well, the team also has a luxury box or two to sell you.

Won't you help out a fellow 49ers fan?

If you have any comments, tips, or suggestions about the places mentioned on this page, or if you have a place of your own to add, we'd love to hear from you. You never know, your opinion might just make a difference for someone...

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