PHOENIX -- While the Oakland Raiders continue their quest for a permanent home, be it in Oakland, Carson, or Parts Unknown, the door for them to jump into a 1-year-old stadium 34.3 miles down I-880 remains cracked open.
The Raiders, sharing what is undoubtedly the 49ers’ yard at red-clad Levi’s Stadium, may be beyond a last resort for the Raiders, but Niners CEO Jed York said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings the latest news of his team sharing the Santa Clara digs with another team remains status quo.
“It’s been the same answer all along,” York said. “The building has been approved for two teams. That hasn’t changed, and it’s not specific to who the team is, and it’s really out of our control.
“The Raiders, and whoever else is considering new stadium possibilities, they’re controlling their own destiny on where they want to go, and what they want to do.”
In other words, Levi’s remains an option for a team like the Raiders, albeit, a far-fetched alternative.
Niners fans, though, will be happy to know that team officials are working on improvements for those who sit on the sun-spashed east side of the stadium.
York and 49ers chief operating office Al Guido said the Niners, after consulting with the Jacksonville Jaguars -- no, the Niners will not be installing a swimming pool in the stadium -- will institute a couple of fan-friendly features for game days.
“Cool” seating benches will be installed in the concourse area of the east side while “misters” will be in the plaza. The team is also considering passing out hand-held misting fans to spectators on especially warm days.
Parking, specifically egress, a bane for so many fans in the early weeks of the stadium, is also being addressed. York and Guido said the time to exit certain lots at the stadium took as long as 1 hour, 20 minutes early in the season, but dropped to as little as 45 minutes by the end of the year. The average time to exit Candlestick Park, they said, was 90 minutes.