49ers new stadium to host Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

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49ers new stadium to host Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is moving to a new home.

Bowl organizers, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) and the San Francisco 49ers today confirmed in an afternoon press conference that the annual Bay Area postseason college football game will move to the New Santa Clara Stadium beginning in December 2014.

Construction of the new state-of-the-art home for the San Francisco 49ers is well underway, with more than 20 percent of the total project already completed. The first 49ers game in the new building will take place in August 2014, and will now be followed by the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl four months later. Seating capacity at the new stadium is set for 68,500, with 9,000 club seats and 165 luxury suites.

From its inception in 2002, the Bowl game has been played at AT&T Park in downtown San Francisco. Each year, at the conclusion of the San Francisco Giants playing season, AT&T Park has been transformed into a football venue. In just over a decade's time, the Bay Area's Bowl game grew from infancy to its rightful place as one of the 35-game bowl constellation's brightest stars.

Gary Cavalli, Bowl co-founder and the only Executive Director in its history, said today that a number of factors entered into the decision to change game venues.

"This is an exciting, historic moment for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl," Cavalli said. "Moving to the 49ers' new state of the art stadium in Santa Clara is an opportunity to take our Bowl to the next level. The college football landscape has changed dramatically in recent months with a revamped post-season structure and ongoing conference realignment. This beautiful new venue will give us the ability to attract better teams, secure additional sponsorship support, and grow the game.

"The teams that participate in the Bowl will have the opportunity to play in a world-class NFL stadium that in all likelihood will host the Super Bowl, and fans who attend the game will have all the amenities of a premier football facility full of technological advancements. That combination is going to make our Bowl a more desirable destination for college football teams throughout the country and fans throughout the Bay Area. It's a real game-changer for us."

The Bowl's game week activities and team hotels will remain in San Francisco, while on game day, teams and fans will also have a chance to experience Santa Clara and Silicon Valley.

49ers Chief Executive Officer Jed York has been the driving force behind the team's efforts to find a new home venue in Santa Clara. He graciously welcomed the Bay Area's Bowl game as the first non-49ers event to be scheduled in the new building.

"The 49ers are very excited that an established college football game such as the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl has become the first special event to commit to the New Santa Clara Stadium," said York. "We look forward to facilitating world-class sports and entertainment events in a stadium that we anticipate becoming one of the world's premier outdoor venues. This facility will bring together all that is special about the Bay Area and Silicon Valley to deliver an unequalled user experience."

Courtesy San Francisco 49ers and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl media services

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

49ers media services