SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) – 49ers football is only 30 days away from restarting at Levi's Stadium. And for the first time in a year and a half, there will be fans in the stands.
"Let's go Niners!" cheered 49ers fan Ryan from Santa Clara as he left the 49ers fan shop at Levi's with a new team jersey. He's hoping the team will return to the playoffs this year.
"I expect a great season, playing well into what January, February excuse me, for the Niners," he said.
The last time Levi's Stadium was filled with fans was the NFC Championship game in January 2020, when they defeated the Green Bay Packers to reach the Super Bowl. It's been a year and a half since, with an injury-plagued, COVID-restricted, down season in between.
"To not have the 70,000 faithful to make the noise and really make the building come alive, it was hard," said 49ers general manager Jim Mercurio told KPIX 5.
Mercurio hopes for a playoff-type atmosphere when the fans return next month, even though it will just be a preseason game.
"I think this first preseason game is going to be one of the most sought-after tickets in a long, long time because people want to get back into the swing of things and they miss 49er football," he said.
"I have, I have indeed missed it," said Juan Castillo, Jr., a 49ers fan from Mission, Texas who toured the stadium with his mom, father and brother.
"My family and I, we're here visiting the stadium, and we'll hopefully come back to an actual season game," said Juan Castillo, Sr.
The Niners are sprucing up the grounds and the stadium for the returning fans.
They're also looking for game-day help. On Saturday, the team will host a job fair for several guest services and other positions that will pay better than ever.
Mercurio said, "The pay rate is $18.50 an hour for guest services, which is a $1.50 more than we've ever paid."
The job fair will be held on Saturday, July 17th from 10am to 2pm at the stadium.
Levi's Stadium will host two preseason games, an August 14 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs and an August 29 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The 49ers regular season home opener is scheduled for September 26 against the Packers.
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