If you've been watching the 49ers' live stadium feed and wondering why the new grass gets a regular dousing while you are showing every third day due to California's drought, there's a reason. The stadium uses recycled -- or "gray"-- water, which is something you definitely don't want to use for your baths. The type of grass used, Bermuda Bandera, also requires up to 50 percent less water than other types used in the Bay Area.
I wrote about the green-i-ness of the new stadium a couple of years ago, and the team still is gunning for a LEED gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status. The Ravens have the only other sports venue in the United States with a LEED gold rating. (Jim Harbaugh is always playing second fiddle to his older brother).
Recycled water is one of the ways they hope to achieve that mark. Another is with solar panels, which will sit atop the three bridges that lead to the stadium as well as the roof of the tower suite. The team expects that the power generated from those panels will offset the power used in the 10 NFL games played there each year.
Some observations of a tour of the facility on Thursday:
* The team's spacious locker room is nearly complete, and it provides a noticeable home-field advantage. The ceilings are 18- to 20-feet high, whereas the visitor's locker room's are 10-feet high. The lockers are made of walnut, which is built into the ceiling as well. The visitor's space is painted a dark gray. The 49ers' locker room is roomy even now despite temporary lockers for the 90-man offseason locker. It will have 64 lockers when the regular season begins. The 49ers are not yet ready to move into their new digs, but it will serve as the team's primary locker room - for practices, offseason, etc. - once the stadium is complete.