A perfect fit? That description was used - tongue in cheek - multiple times Wednesday after news broke that Levi Strauss & Co. had purchased the right to put its name on the 49ers' new 68,500-seat stadium. The blue jeans maker, which got its start in San Francisco during the California Gold Rush, will pay $220 million over the next 20 years to become an official partner of the team and for signage - including above the 190-foot-long scoreboards on both ends of the field - inside and outside the facility. The $1.2 billion stadium, which opens next year, will be called Levi's Stadium. "Levi's jeans were designed for the 49ers during the Gold Rush," 49ers CEO Jed York said at a news conference in San Francisco. "It was a good fit for them then and it's a good fit today." The deal averages $11 million per year, and there is an option to extend it another five years. The annual value makes it the NFL's second-most-lucrative naming rights deal behind MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which averages $17.5 million a year. That stadium is home to both the NFL's Giants and Jets. On May 21, NFL owners will decide which stadium will host Super Bowls L and LI in 2016 and 2017. Super Bowl L - the 50th game - is more coveted, and the 49ers and the Bay Area are competing against the Dolphins and South Florida to host it. South Florida's bid took a hit last week when the state's lawmakers could not agree on a deal to provide taxpayer support for a $350 million upgrade of Sun Life Stadium, renovations viewed as critical to landing a Super Bowl. The loser of the May 21 vote will compete against Houston for the right to host Super Bowl LI. If the Bay Area wins the bid, most of the Super Bowl week festivities would take place in San Francisco and the game would be played in Santa Clara, 45 miles to the south. The final regular-season game in San Francisco's Candlestick Park, the 49ers' home since 1971, is scheduled for Dec. 23. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews were on hand for Wednesday's announcement. Lee said Levi Strauss is a San Francisco-based company and will be "rolling off of everybody's tongue" for the next two decades.
49ers will play at Levi's Stadium next year
Sacramento Bee | May 11