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


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.

NFL rumors: Nick Bosa first on Cardinals' draft board, ex-player says

NFL rumors: Nick Bosa first on Cardinals' draft board, ex-player says

Nick Bosa or Kyler Murray. Kyler Murray or Nick Bosa.

That appears to be the debate going on in Arizona, as the Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NFL draft.

Murray long has been rumored to be the Cardinals' choice at No. 1, but the team reportedly has cooled as of late on taking the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.

That sentiment continued Monday when former NFL player Antonio Bryant claimed he has heard Bosa is No. 1 on the Cardinals' draft board.

The Cardinals, of course, used their 2018 first-round pick to select a QB in Josh Rosen. With all of the speculation surrounding the Cardinals and Murray, Rosen has found himself at the center of trade talks -- with the Giants and Dolphins reportedly showing the most interest.

But according to Bryant, Rosen would be staying in Arizona, as the Cardinals decide to shore up their defensive line by instead adding Bosa.

Meanwhile, the 49ers own the No. 2 pick in the draft and have been heavily linked to Bosa with that pick. If Bosa is off the board, as Bryant suggests, the ripple effects will be felt all over the league -- especially in San Francisco.

The 49ers appear set at QB with Jimmy Garoppolo, but they could use plenty of help on the defensive line. Alabama's Quinnen Williams and Kentucky's Josh Allen could be viable options for the Red and Gold at No. 2 if the Cardinals select Bosa.

San Francisco also could trade the No. 2 pick and receive two later first-round picks in return. If the Cardinals indeed pass on Murray, it would not be surprising if the 49ers' phone lines were flooded with potential trade offers for the dynamic Oklahoma QB.

49ers GM John Lynch indicated as much Monday afternoon when asked if he expected calls to trade up for Murray.

“I would, wouldn’t you?” Lynch said Monday at his draft preview media availability. “There seems to be a ton of interest, and I understand, man. We, a couple times, just threw him up in here [the draft room] and it’s electric stuff, it really is."

[RELATED: Lynch discusses Bosa's social media activity]

With so many rumors swirling around, it's hard to keep track of what is real and what might be a smokescreen.

Is it Thursday night yet?

49ers GM John Lynch makes assurance Robbie Gould will return as kicker


49ers GM John Lynch makes assurance Robbie Gould will return as kicker

SANTA CLARA – As expected, 49ers general manager John Lynch was short on making promises and speaking in absolutes during his pre-draft session Monday with reporters inside the team’s draft room.

But Lynch made one clear projection about the 2019 season: Robbie Gould will be the 49ers’ kicker.

“Robbie is going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that,” Lynch said of the 49ers’ unsigned franchise player. “We would like it to be longer than that. We’ve made an attempt to make it happen. We haven’t come to an agreement as of yet, and we’ll see where that goes.

“But Robbie will be a part of us this coming year, and we’re excited for that because he’s very good at what he does and he’s also a big part of this team.”

The 49ers signed Gould to a two-year, $4 million contract on the first day of free agency in 2017. As the team’s franchise player this season, he has a one-year contract for $4.9 million waiting for him. He has yet to sign the one-year tender, and Lynch said the 49ers would still like to work out a multi-year deal with him.

Gould is not taking part in the team’s offseason program. He is working on his own in the Chicago area. All indications are Gould did not want the 49ers to lock him up as the franchise player. He previously said he was looking forward to considering all options as an unrestricted free agent.

Gould, 36, ranks second all-time in NFL history with a field-goal accuracy of 87.745 percent.

The 49ers showed interest then-free agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski, NBC Sports Bay Area reported on April 9. Just hours later – and shortly before Gostkowski was scheduled to make a trip to visit the 49ers – the New England Patriots re-signed him to a contract. Gostkowski ranks No. 3 in all-time field-goal accuracy.

“We’ve got to do our due diligence in terms of being prepared for all scenarios, and Stephen was a free agent, and (he is) also very good,” Lynch said. “Our No. 1 priority in that respect was to try to figure out something with Robbie. Stephen was there. I think our interest quickly got the Patriots to lock him down.”

[RELATED: How trading No. 2 could get 49ers two first-round picks]

Lynch said he is not sure when Gould will sign and report to the team. Training camp opens in late-July, and the 49ers’ regular-season opener is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I can’t speak to when he’s going to be here,” Lynch said. “But when we kick it off, he’ll be here.”