49ers

49ers can't add shade at Levi's Stadium, will drop price of bottled water

levissunshade.jpg
AP

49ers can't add shade at Levi's Stadium, will drop price of bottled water

SANTA CLARA -- After soliciting the opinions of numerous architects and civil engineers, the 49ers found there is no reasonable way to provide shade for those who sit in the sunny seats on the east side of Levi’s Stadium.

“We can’t add shade,” team president Al Guido said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “It’s not possible.”

The 49ers have investigated all solutions to provide relief from the heat at Levi’s Stadium, Guido said. But the design of the stadium, along with FAA regulations, makes all possible renovations or construction impractical.

“What I can tell the fans is we’re committed to making their experience as best as it possibly can,” Guido said. “We understand there might be a game or two early in the season that might be warm. We cannot add shade. We cannot build a roof.”

The 49ers have taken some measures, including scheduling preseason games later in the day. The 49ers open the exhibition season Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys in a game that is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. The preseason finale, Thursday, Aug. 30, against the Los Angeles Chargers, also is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The 49ers have two regular-season games in September and October that could get uncomfortable for some fans: Week 2, Sept. 16, against Detroit at 1 p.m.; and Week 5, Oct. 7, against Arizona, 1:25 p.m.

One improvement for fans is the pricing of bottled water at games. The 49ers provide free filtered water on the concourse, and the price of cold, bottled water has been dropped from $6 to $2, Guido said.

But any construction elements, such as a tarp to provide shade to a large portion of the fans at Levi’s Stadium, have been deemed unworkable.

“A lot of it stems from FAA regulations,” said Guido, citing the stadium's proximity to San Jose International Airport. “Structurally, what I can tell you is even if you could do it, it would take years to get something up there. To hang something 230 feet, 240 feet from the air, it has to be a structure. It can’t be a sunshade or an umbrella or anything along those lines. It has to be substantial.”

It also was deemed impractical to install misting devices to blow damp air over those sitting in the stands. Because of the general weather conditions at Levi’s Stadium, the mist would not immediately evaporate, leaving the concrete walkways wet, slippery and dangerous, Guido said.

Guido said the 49ers received complaints about the uncomfortable conditions in the first season the stadium opened. On Oct. 5, 2014, the 49ers played a day game against Kansas City. It was 85 degrees at kickoff.

The club did not receive many additional complaints over the next two seasons. But last year, the concerns resurfaced with an 87-degree game on Sept. 9 against Carolina.

“There’s no clear-cut way to deal with the early game heat issue,” Guido said. “We looked into it, and it’s just not a simple solution.”

Despite the heat issues, 49ers fans have renewed their season tickets at a rate of 97 percent over the first four years at Levi’s Stadium, Guido said.

-- The 49ers recently responded to an NFL memo to express interest in hosting Super Bowls 59 or 60, Guido said. Levi’s Stadium was the site for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016. Guido said the 49ers got positive feedback, despite the geographical complications of events spread throughout the Bay Area.

“The NFL resoundingly says it was one of the best Super Bowls they’ve held,” Guido said. “The marketplace is fantastic and, obviously, we were helped by great weather.”

-- Levi’s Stadium also is in the mix for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which FIFA recently awarded to the United States, Mexico and Canada. There are 23 stadiums in North America to be considered, and the U.S. will first narrow its list to 12 to 14 stadiums. The bid to host games at Levi’s Stadium must be re-submitted in 2020.

Although unlikely Levi’s Stadium will be chosen as the site of the final, Guido said he hopes Santa Clara will be the location for multiple matches throughout the month-long tournament.

Watch 49ers WR Dante Pettis crush BP homers in Minute Maid Park

dantepettis49ershoustonbattingpracticeusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Watch 49ers WR Dante Pettis crush BP homers in Minute Maid Park

The 49ers arrived in Houston on Tuesday, where they will hold joint practices with the Texans on Wednesday and Thursday. On Sunday, the two teams will play a preseason game.

With no team activities schedule on Tuesday, rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis took full advantage of the free time. His father is Astros third base coach Gary Pettis, so the younger Pettis donned Astros gear and took batting practice at Minute Maid Park.

In video posted by Fox 26's Mark Berman, Pettis deposited a few balls into the Crawford Box.

Check out the video here:

49ers notes: Practices heat up with Texans in Houston

49ers notes: Practices heat up with Texans in Houston

The 49ers arrived Monday evening in Houston, where temperatures in the mid-90s – and more than a bit of humidity -- await the team’s two practices this week against the Texans.

After 14 practices at the team’s facility in Santa Clara, the 49ers figure to learn a lot more about their roster while facing a different opponent during two-hour practice sessions scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’re very sick of going against the same scheme every day,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It’ll be nice to go against something else, you know? Offensively and defensively, and it gives you two practices where you can go against different stuff, which prepares all your players for what they’re going to see during the year.

“And just for the monotony of camp, it’s good to change it up.”

The 49ers will be a bit short-handed for the practices. Eleven players sat out the team’s practice Monday due to injuries. Running back Joe Williams is scheduled to rejoin the team. The 49ers also plan to sign veteran running back Alfred Morris. The 49ers’ top two running backs, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida, are out for the remainder of the preseason with injuries.

The injuries across the board have impacted how the 49ers practice. Because of thinning depth, the 49ers do not have enough healthy bodies to form a full No. 3 unit.

“Once you start losing those guys, it adds a lot on another person,” Shanahan said. “Once you see a guy having to take reps with the twos and with the threes, it’s just a matter of time before that guy gets hurt. Those are the things you’ve got to pay attention to. You can get away with it for a little bit and you know you’re going to put a lot on a guy, but eventually once you see it’s too much you’ve got to stop the drill and just move on. It’s not worth it.”

After two practices against the Texans, the 49ers will have a day off on Friday before facing Houston on Saturday in the second preseason game for both teams.

McGlinchey Readies for Work vs. Watt

After being satisfied with his performance during his 23 snaps in the exhibition opener against the Dallas Cowboys, 49ers rookie right tackle Mike McGlinchey is bracing for what figures to be his best learning experience since being the No. 9 overall draft pick.

McGlinchey is likely to go up against Texans perennial All-Pro defensive lineman J.J. Watt in two practices. The reports out of Houston is that Watts has looked close to his former self after two injury-plagued seasons. He did not play in the Texans’ exhibition opener, though. McGlinchey could see practice time against Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.

“It’s definitely going to be fun,” McGlinchey said. “It’s why you play in the NFL, to play against the biggest and baddest dudes.”

Morris Steps in to Compete

Part of the reason the 49ers are bringing in Morris to join the team is because he already is familiar with Shanahan’s system. But Morris will also get an opportunity to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. Morris spent two seasons with Shanahan in Washington, and Shanahan said he should have no problem picking up the 49ers playbook.

“There’s not big changes and it’s not that tough for a back,” Shanahan said. “They’ve got to set their track the right way and you hand it off to them and go run. We have a way that we coach guys and stuff, but everyone, when you’re away from something, it’s going to take some time. He is going to be rusty with that stuff, but he’ll get the hang of it.”

Undrafted rookie OL Alan Knott was waived to make room for Morris. 

This ‘N’ That

Shanahan bristled when asked if the injuries of training camp could have been avoided. “Soft tissue injuries, yeah, they can be prevented by having them not doing anything and sit there and just not get hurt and then it will happen in Week 1,” Shanahan said. “It’s just part of it. I think we are pretty smart with what we do. There’s a fine line, a very fine line. If a player is complaining about being tight, we can sit there and shut him down and then every single person who ever complains about being tight, you can shut down and then ask a group of 90 people in training camp to raise their hands on who’s tight. Ninety people will raise their hand.” . . . McKinnon grabbed behind his right knee after sustaining an injury in practice on Sunday. The fears were alleviated when an MRI revealed a calf strain, which will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the exhibition season. “No one realizes your calf goes that high,” Shanahan said. “So I think he was worried about it just where it was and then once he got the assurance that it was his calf, it made sense that he didn’t have that much pain. I think he felt much better. But at least he feels good that he’ll be ready for Week 1.”