I was at a tech conference in Santa Clara in late June and found this stadium located literally right next to the convention center with what appeared to be one road leading in and out of the parking lots. This review of Levi's Stadium confirms my worst fears: the tech community cares more about wi-fi than it cares about transportation or safety or practicality. Check out the part about how passengers who want to take the light rail to the games have to actually walk across the tracks to get to their train. In 2014. Via BusinessWeek:
For the past few months, 49ers executives have been telling anyone who would listen about all the bells and whistles that $1.3 billion buys. Levi's Stadium has solar panels, a green roof, and Wi-Fi; people order food right to their seat via smartphone; and that's pretty much it. Yes, Wi-Fi and cell signals often fall over in crowded places, such as stadiums, and making sure these services stay up and running through clever engineering is nice. But billing Wi-Fi as a testament to Silicon Valley's technological mettle is embarrassing. And that green roof? It's a tiny patch of shrubs on top of suites that I never even noticed while at the Earthquakes game.
What I did notice was that the parking lots around the stadium were at a standstill and that no one seemed to have thought through the public transportation system at all. The stadium is being fed by a light rail line that travels slowly around Silicon Valley. At the Levi's Stadium station, thousands of people trying to access four different train lines were all funneled through the same area. Insanely, the path to get on the trains required people to walk across the tracks. As a result, the whole station had to come to a halt every time a new train arrived so that it could be filled up and then sent on its way. It typically takes me 15 minutes to drive from my house in Mountain View to the stadium. It took 90 minutes to get home by train. To get back to San Francisco, fans would then need to catch a larger train from Mountain View and ride another hour home. Things should get really exciting when the whole stadium is opened up for the 49ers and 70,000 people, or about one-third more than on Saturday.