49ers New Billion-Dollar Stadium Gears Up for Traffic Mess; Appeals Made to Local Businesses

PHOTO: A rendering of Levis Statium in Santa Clara, Calif., currently under construction.

Though it is scheduled to open a year ahead of schedule, the San Francisco 49ers' $1.2 billion new stadium is still working out how it will prevent a traffic headache in the heart of Silicon Valley and its tech businesses.

One solution the stadium is considering is asking neighboring businesses whether they can shift employee hours for the occasional Monday and Thursday night NFL football games.

Santa Clara City Councilwoman Lisa Gillmor said the 49ers have been approaching local businesses to work out possible arrangements, such as parking and other ways to diminish traffic congestion, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

"There are not that many Monday night games in a year -- only a handful if that, so they are working with our businesses ahead of time," she told ABCNews.com.

Not only are there so few weeknight games per team in the NFL, Gillmor said the workers in the area may already be amenable to changing hours.

"Many people are flexible in Silicon Valley, or they can work from home. It's a fluid society around here. And again, we are talking a few days a year – a handful of days a year – we're not talking on a regular basis," she said.

Some of the major businesses in the area include Yahoo, Cisco and Mission College.

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The first stadium event will take place on Aug. 2, 2014, for a game between the Major League Soccer teams, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders. Then NFL pre-season games will take place shortly after that.

During the first year the San Francisco 49ers will play in the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., about an hour south of San Francisco, there will be no Monday or Thursday night games while the 49ers and stadium authority study traffic patterns in the area. That was a decision that was made in early 2010.

Bob Lange, a spokesman for the 49ers, said Monday and Thursday night games in the second year of the stadium would start at 5:30 or 5:40 p.m., the same time workers are typically leaving their offices.

How the 49ers will help minimize congestion and determine their place in the area are still being finalized.

"These plans are still being developed as we speak. They're not finalized yet," he said.

Lange said he did not have details about whether the 49ers were asking businesses to change their workers' hours.

Ed Maduli, vice chancellor of the West Valley-Mission Community College District, which is within walking distance of the new stadium, said the team has not asked the school to change hours for its students and their classes.

"We have not had discussions about class schedules. Our students come first," he said.

Mission College has about 7,200 full-time equivalent students, or about 10,000 in total.

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Maduli said the details about the school's agreement with the 49ers will become public during a school board meeting on Jan. 21.

The school may provide about 2,200 or more parking space to the 49ers for about 12 Sunday games during the first year or so.

Maduli said it would be "very difficult to give parking spaces to 49ers on Mondays and Thursdays."

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