49ers seek funds to spruce up Levi’s Stadium for World Cup, Super Bowl bid

49ers seek funds to spruce up Levi’s Stadium for World Cup, Super Bowl bid

The 49ers believe Levi’s Stadium, which opened less than a decade ago, needs a makeover and the Santa Clara-based franchise wants to borrow from the NFL for upgrades ahead of hosting 2026 World Cup soccer games.

Seats and scoreboards will be enhanced if the 49ers secure $120 million from the NFL’s stadium fund, which the franchise sought to secure Tuesday at the league meeting in Phoenix, The Athletic reported.

Enhancements could also lead to the Super Bowl’s return to Levi’s Stadium, which is owned by the city of Santa Clara and managed by the 49ers in what’s been a contentious relationship. The NFL is set to announce in May the sites for Super Bowl 60 and 61; Levi’s Stadium hosted Super Bowl 50 to cap the 2015 season.

“My optimism is very high,” 49ers CEO Jed York told reporters at the league meeting, per SI.com.  “I feel fairly confident. I don’t know for sure we’ll get Super Bowl 60, but I feel very confdient we’ll get a Super Bowl in the near future.

“It’d be great to get Super Bowl 60 after hosting Super Bowl 50. It’d be great to get that game after bringing the world cup to Levi’s Stadium. Those are two of the largest sporting events in the world and having them back-to-back would be fantastic.”

Renovations would begin next year, after this coming season, and stadium suites could be renovated and expanded, from 170 to 179.

“When you spend a lot of money on building a new stadium, you watch some of the stadiums that aren’t upgraded, and it’s very easy for them to fall into disrepair,” York said. “You want to make sure that you’re re-investing in your stadium. Because I went through a stadium process. It’s not a fun, making-you-younger type of process.

“The more that we can enhance Levi’s Stadium, the more that we can put into the stadium and keep it our home for a long period of time, we’re going to continue to do that.”

Updating suites also is a key part of the 49ers’ incentive to attract local businesses.

“We’re in the heart of Silicon Valley and the heart of the second largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies,” Brent Schoeb, the 49ers’ chief revenue officer, told The Athletic. “Based on that segment’s feedback, they want a top tier VIP entertainment for their customers, and then also coming out of COVID for their employees, as well. So we certainly think we can increase the value proposition with all these renovations, which in turn will certainly help generate more revenue.”

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