Roger Goodell added a twist to the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Levi's Stadium on Thursday by addressing the looming stadium issue just up the road in Oakland, California, where the Raiders have long been searching for a replacement to the outdated O.co Coliseum.
Goodell said it's up to the Raiders to decide whether they want to try to build a stadium in Oakland or share the facility at Levi's Stadium with the 49ers -- an idea Niners CEO Jed York never has dismissed.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has said he doesn't want to be a renter in the 49ers' facility, which is now fitted with red seats and posters of past and present San Francisco greats.
"They have to make that determination, whether they're in a new stadium in Oakland or whether they feel that it's best to join this stadium," Goodell said, according to the Bay Area Sports Guy, who tweeted the commissioner's remarks. "We're working on that, and that's one of the decisions they'll have to make."
The Raiders are in the final year of their lease at the Coliseum and are interested in building a new stadium at the site.
The Coliseum has hosted MLB's Athletics since 1968 but has had sewage and lighting problems. The Oakland City Council approved a 10-year lease to keep the team in town Wednesday but with several modifications that left it "disappointed," according to A's team president Mike Crowley.
The O.co Coliseum is the lone facility shared by a Major League Baseball club and a team in the National Football League. The Raiders reportedly have been in talks to have the aging structure demolished in 2015 to make room for a new home.
If the Raiders and 49ers were to share Levi's Stadium, they would become the second pair of NFL teams to share a home, joining the Jets and Giants, who both play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The Levi's Stadium ceremony marked the official opening of the 49ers' $1.2 billion home in Santa Clara. Goodell, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, linebacker Patrick Willis and left tackle Joe Staley joined York and others on stage to cut the ribbons.
They used oversized red scissors with gold-colored blades in keeping with team colors. Hard hat-wearing construction workers lined the steps in fluorescent yellow jackets as team employees cheered and a fog horn blared.
"This is a long time in the making," York said.
Goodell called it a milestone for the league.
The 49ers' new home will hold about 68,500 fans and has the ability to expand to 75,000 for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. The facility features 165 luxury suites, 9,000 club seats and even a green rooftop deck that includes solar panels and harvested herbs for on-site food preparation.
Free Wi-Fi will be available at the stadium, and a smartphone application will allow fans to have food delivered to any seat and check waiting lines at concession stands and bathrooms.
"The stadium reflects the greatness of the region, the technology and the innovation," Goodell said.
The seats in the lower bowl will hold some 45,000, or two-thirds of stadium capacity, and will be the largest first level in the NFL. All club levels look out to the field in one direction and the surrounding valley and mountains in another. It's 35 rows up to the first club seating area, while Row 1 of the stadium is about 10 feet off the field.