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January 8, 2012
First-class seating: 49ers release some ticket prices for new stadium


Start flipping over your sofa cushions in search of loose change. The 49ers and the City of Santa Clara on Sunday sent out a press release documenting how the most premiere seats in the new $1.02 billion stadium will be paid for. As you might expect, they aren't cheap.

About 9,000 club seats in the stadium's lower bowl will require the purchase of a $20,000 to $30,000 stadium builder's seat license or SBL. 'What the hell is a SBL?' you ask while pounding your fist against the table. They've been around - and have been controversial - for a long time as PSLs (personal seat licenses), and they are viewed by teams as necessary for paying for new venues. The Jets and Giants both sold SBLs for their new shared stadium, although the teams took different approaches.

SBLs basically give a fan the right to then purchase season tickets, which is an additional cost. Teams use them to help pay the debt incurred during the construction of a stadium. Here's the press release from the 49ers:

SANTA CLARA -- The Santa Clara Stadium Authority and Legends Sales & Marketing announced today the launch of Club Seat and Stadium Builders License (SBL) sales for the new stadium in Santa Clara. The launch will begin with a seat allocation process for current lower bowl Candlestick season ticket holders. The SBLs for the majority of the 9,000 Club Seats are priced at $20,000 and $30,000. There is a range of payment options, including short-term installment plans or longer term financing for the SBLs. All payment plans will be interest-free prior to the year in which the stadium opens.

Also, today, the San Francisco 49ers announced pricing for game tickets in the Club sections. The 49ers said ticket prices on the Club Seats will range from $325-$375 per game, depending on the location.

"We expect a high demand for Club Seats in the new stadium and encourage all season ticket holders to take advantage of this opportunity to visit the Preview Center and meet one-on-one with their personal sales representative," said Al Guido, Vice President of Sales and Service for Legends, the company selected by the Stadium Authority to market stadium seating. "Since this is a new product, we want to make sure that the 49ers season ticket holders have plenty of time to review the changes and understand how the seat allocation process works."

The 49ers CEO Jed York said he hopes every season ticket holder will dedicate the time to study the options at the new venue.

"I know there are a lot of questions," said York, "and I hope each season ticket holder will take time to meet with their Legends representative, visit the Preview Center and ask every question in their playbook about this venue and the seating. There are some extraordinary benefits you will have if you purchase the SBL and the rights to buy 49ers seats for the lifetime of the building."

In response to market demand for a super-premium all-inclusive seating area, Legends is introducing a Club Seat product that will have only limited availability and will provide access to the exclusive Legacy Club. These Club Seats will include extraordinary amenities such as all-inclusive food and beverage (except liquor), complimentary VIP parking, and guaranteed access to purchase future Super Bowl tickets for games held at the new stadium. Inside the Legacy Club, patrons can monitor unique behind-the-scenes NFL action. There will be less than one percent of these seats available, and the SBLs are priced at $80,000.

All sellable seats in the new stadium will include an SBL, a one-time payment that gives buyers control of their seats for 49ers games and is good for the life of the building. SBL owners will receive priority access to purchase tickets for other events at the new stadium. As a Club Seat purchaser, however, there are additional benefits including VIP parking, access to designated exclusive Club areas through a private entrance and wider, cushioned seats in locations with tremendous sightlines.

The new stadium will have roughly 150,000 square feet of Club space which is among the most in the NFL. In addition to the Legacy Club with its on-field patio areas that are situated behind team benches, there are three additional Clubs. The Champions Club is located just 35 rows above the playing field and runs the length of the 49ers sideline. The Broadcast Club is located in the Suite Tower and has viewing access to the Game Day broadcast teams. The Loft 1680 Club is above the east main concourse and is the "first-of-its-kind-loft-style" Club with glass walls giving unlimited on-field sightlines as well as views of the surrounding area.

Legends officials said pricing for other areas of the stadium has not been established yet.

"The allocation process is complicated," said Guido, "especially since the new stadium has roughly 15,000 more seats in the lower bowl when compared to Candlestick Park. In addition, the new stadium has a suite tower on the west side of the building. That allows us to bring the upper bowl seats closer to the field. We believe that many current season ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase the rights to seats that have better sightlines than their current Candlestick locations, but the manifest is not complete and won't be announced for several months."

Today's announcement coincided with a mailing from Legends and the Stadium Authority to 49ers season ticket holders explaining details of the seat allocation process. This is the first in a series of messages that will be delivered to season ticket holders through 2012. The process will occur in phases based on the location of a ticketholder's season tickets at Candlestick.

The new stadium in Santa Clara is estimated to cost approximately $1.02 billion. Officials expect it to be a landmark for Silicon Valley in addition to its role as the new home to the San Francisco 49ers. The 1.85 million square foot facility will seat 68,500 and feature 165 luxury suites. It will be designed with multi-purpose flexibility to host a wide range of events including domestic and international soccer, college football, motocross, concerts and various civic events, and is expandable for major events such as the Super Bowl. For more information, go to www.newsantaclarastadium.com

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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