The 49ers, Fremont, and the Regional Economic Benefits of Football

Jun 09, 2014

Kelly Kline

Economic Development Director & Chief Innovation Officer

With the new Levi’s Stadium making its debut in Santa Clara to great fanfare, Fremont is gearing up along with the rest of the Bay Area to take advantage of anticipated economic spinoff.

While Fremont may be 15.5 miles away from the 50-yard line, we expect to reap our share of hotel guests and restaurant patrons attending home games, the 2016 Super Bowl, and other stadium events.

Let’s start with the numbers. Levi’s Stadium can seat 68,500 people. But for special events such as the Super Bowl – it can fit up to 77,000. In addition to 49ers games, the stadium will host 8-12 large public events a year, and many more corporate/private events. The schedule will kick off this summer on August 2 with a match between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders. Additional “year one” events include College Football (Cal Bears vs. Oregon), a December Bowl Game, and Wrestlemania in March – considered to be the ultimate smack-down for attendance with a projected audience of 70,000!

In the case of Wrestlemania, the event requires 15,000 hotel rooms from San Francisco to Fremont to San Jose, and all places in between. The 2016 Super Bowl will reach out as far as the Tri-Valley to meet its 25,000 hotel room requirement. If computed for multiple nights, this number jumps to 100,000. And, note that the numbers are for what the NFL needs only for its operations. If Aunt Betty and Uncle Joe come from Wisconsin to enjoy our Super Bowl weather, those rooms are above and beyond. Needless to say, we wouldn’t recommend planning a wedding for February 7, because all of the inns will be full!

For small businesses hoping to tap into Super Bowl activities, there will be numerous opportunities ranging from catering, to printed materials, to transportation services. The largest event attached to the Super Bowl is the NFL-sponsored “NFL Experience” which will be held at Moscone Center. The Host Committee will put on a “Business Connect” event to help local businesses learn more about these opportunities.

As you can imagine, public transportation will play a big role in getting people to events. Current estimates show that for 49ers games, three-quarters of the attendees will arrive by car or charter bus, and the rest will arrive by public transportation (train or bus). Fremont residents will have two transit choices – either the ACE Train, or express bus from BART. Once the Milpitas BART station opens, you can take BART to Light Rail, and then exit directly in front of the stadium. This promises to be one of the easier Bay Area connections.

We are tremendously excited for this new Silicon Valley amenity to become interwoven with our business environment. Fremont has a history of hosting visiting sports teams in its hotels, and we can expect that activity to increase with such a large, first-class event facility. We’re standing by to assist with any and all touchdown passes to make this venue a regional success.

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