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May 8, 2013
Levi's Stadium: 49ers announce $220 million naming rights deal with jeans maker

Levis-Header.jpg

Boot-cut Field? Bell-bottom Park? The Zipper?

The 49ers today announced a $220 million stadium naming-rights deal with San Francisco-based jeans manufacturer Levi Strauss Co. The team's new 68,500-seat facility officially will be called Levi's Stadium, and a sign with that name will stretch across the 190-foot-long scoreboards on either end of the field.

The team is set to open its new, $1.2 billion facility next year, and a naming-rights deal is one of the ways the team will pay for the facility.

The deal is for the next 20 years with an option to extend it to 25 years. The deal averages $11 million per season, which likely is lower than the team hoped but which still puts it behind only MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for annual average. The MetLife deal is $400 million for 25 years. Both the Jets and Giants play their home games there.

Levi's was founded in 1853 when German immigrant Levis Strauss opened a dry goods store in San Francisco. The company made the first riveted men's work pants - known now as blue jeans -- in 1873. Levi's corporate headquarters remains in San Francisco.

The 49ers' new stadium, meanwhile, is 45 miles to the south in Santa Clara. The first games will be played there in 2014, and the team currently is bidding to host either Super Bowl L or LI, which will be played in February 2016 and 2017. A decision on which cities will host the upcoming Super Bowls will be made by league owners later this month.

levi's.jpg

Two of the new stadium's main themes are technology and green architecture, and many believed the naming-rights deal would be with a tech company based in Silicon Valley, which is where the stadium is located. Instead, the 49ers will stick to their San Francisco roots with a company that, appropriately, made goods for the original 49ers during the California gold rush.

Asked whether tie ins might include players wearing Levi's jeans, officials said those discussions still are in the works. Quipped CEO Jed York, "We're working on coach (Jim Harbaugh) to get him into a pair of jeans. I don't know whether he's been in anything other than khakis."

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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