49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 9, 2014
Preseason schedule: Broncos to help 49ers break in new stadium

LevisStadium.jpg

Which NFL opponent gets to break in Levi's Stadium?

The honor goes to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, who will visit the 49ers in the second week of the exhibition season (Aug. 14-18). The 49ers will open the summer schedule on the road against the Ravens (Aug. 7-10) before testing out their new home against the Broncos and then the Chargers on Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. They will finish the preseason on the road on Aug. 28 against the Texans. The start times for three of the four games have yet to be determined.

The 49ers' game in Baltimore means that Jim Harbaugh will have faced his brother, John, in the regular season, the postseason and now the exhibition season. Preseason games held three time zones away are rare but not unprecedented. The 49ers traveled to Indianapolis in 2010. This year's game is the first time they've played the Ravens in the preseason.

This will be the third straight year the 49ers and Raiders will not face each other in the preseason. Violence during and after the teams' game in 2011 at Candlestick Park suspended what had been an annual summer meeting. The 49ers will visit the Raiders during the regular season. They also will visit the Broncos and host the Chargers during the regular season.

The first game played at $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium will be a soccer match between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 2. That match will be used as a test run to make sure all of the stadium's operations - from parking to concessions to the video boards - work properly.

The regular-season schedule is expected to be released later this month. Team officials have said they will be on the road in Week 1 before hosting their first real game at Levi's Stadium in Week 2 on Sept. 14. The City of Santa Clara has asked that the 49ers not host any weekday games in the first year of the stadium. A percentage of the parking spaces that will be used on game days belong to nearby businesses, which ostensibly will be occupied on weekdays.

That means the team will not host any games on Monday or non-holiday games on Thursday in the inaugural season at the new stadium. However, it's possible they could host the last of the three games played on Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, the NFL today announced that next year's Pro Bowl will be played in Glendale Ariz., the site of the Super Bowl, which will be played a week later. Santa Clara will host the following year's Super Bowl, but the Pro Bowl game is expected to return to its usual location, Honolulu, that year.

-- 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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