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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN ranks Levi’s Stadium No. 20 among NFL venues

Sep 19, 2020 at 8:49 AM--

Levi's Stadium is often criticized for its lack of personality. It's a nice big sports venue in Santa Clara, California, but not much else is typically said.

Candlestick Park tends to bring back fonder memories for San Francisco 49ers fans. Yes, it was old. Yes, it was, at times, cold and windy. Levi's Stadium, by the way, is the opposite. It may have taken you a couple of hours to get out of Candlestick Park. With all of its faults, there was so much history there. That's why it will always hold a special place in the hearts of The Faithful.

That lack of personality and history hurt Levi's Stadium in ESPN's recent ranking of NFL venues. Many factors were used in determining the top stadiums to watch an NFL game. That includes the atmosphere, features, history, location, and the cost to get inside the gates.

At the top of the list is Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. That probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise given the history of the Stadium. Next up is the home of the division-rival Seattle Seahawks — CenturyLink Field.

You have to go all the way down to No. 20 to find Levi's Stadium, where features, tradition, location, and cost all knocked the venue down the ranking. As far as location, Santa Clara is okay. But Candlestick Park was actually in San Francisco, and the team is called the San Francisco 49ers, after all.

Levi's Stadium is about 40 miles south of San Francisco's border. The massive building sits next to California's Great America amusement park.

What you pay at Levi's Stadium
Ticket: $166 (get-in price: $116)
12 oz beer: $7.44
Hot dog: $5
Parking: $38.54
Total: $216.98
via ESPN

Of course, fans aren't able to enjoy Levi's Stadium right now due to COVID-19. Maybe at some point this season, fans will return.

ESPN praised the team museum at Lev's Stadium, highlighting the 49ers' rich history, even if much of it was at a venue that no longer exists.

"There's even an authentic replication of coach Bill Walsh's old office -- right down to his desk," notes ESPN.

As for things that need work, ESPN notes some of the items mentioned above, including the scorching seats that can sometimes bake fans during games.

"Levi's generally gets downgraded for a lack of personality and for being located in Santa Clara, a 45-mile drive from San Francisco," adds Nick Wagoner. "It lacks the charm of Candlestick or the innovation you might expect from a new venue in the heart of Silicon Valley, but a better product on the field will likely bolster how it's perceived moving forward."

Not noted by ESPN is the access to Levi's Stadium. It is much easier to get in and out of the venue than its predecessor, and it even has nearby public transportation available, which Candlestick Park lacked. If you are flying into town for a game, it is effortless to get to and from Levi's Stadium from San Jose Airport.

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