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Friday, February 7, 2014
New stadium equals Week 1 home game?

By Bill Williamson

Earlier in the week, we examined the chances of the San Francisco 49ers starting the season at Seattle in the NFL kickoff game on Thursday, Sept. 4.

While that matchup makes sense, there could be a wrinkle -- the league may want the 49ers to open the season by showing off new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The team is moving into the stadium adjacent to their team headquarters in 2014.

Recent NFL history shows that most teams that open a new stadium play there in Week 1, but it’s far from a slam dunk. Of the 13 teams that opened stadiums since 2000, nine opened the season at home and four opened on the road.

Here's the list:

Cincinnati, 2000: Home
Denver, 2001: Home
Pittsburgh, 2001: Road
Detroit, 2002: Road
Houston, 2002: Home
New England, 2002: Home
Seattle, 2002: Road
Philadelphia, 2003: Home
Arizona, 2006: Home
Indianapolis, 2008: Home
Dallas, 2009: Road
New York Giants, 2010: Home
New York Jets, 2010: Home