Levi Strauss & Co. & 49ers reach naming rights deal
49ers CEO Jed York: "49ers have worn Levi's jeans since the Gold Rush era."
The San Francisco 49ers are moving from Candlestick Park to Levi's Stadium in 2014.
The 49ers are scheduled to play their final season at Candlestick before moving into their new $1.2 billion, 68,500-seat Santa Clara home, which is under construction near the team's practice facility.
"Levi's jeans were designed for the 49ers during the gold rush," 49ers CEO Jed York said Wednesday. "It was a good fit for them then and it's a good fit today."
York and Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh announced the naming-rights agreement during a press conference at Levi's Plaza in San Francisco. The 20-year, $220 million deal ranks as the fourth-highest among stadium naming-rights deals at $11 million annually.
Farmers Field, a planned venue in downtown Los Angeles, and Citi Field, where the New York Mets play, top the list at $20 million annually in naming rights. MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., is next at $17.5 million a year.
"Levi's Stadium will connect two iconic Bay Area brands that share similar values, a rich heritage and a pioneering spirit," Bergh said.
The new Santa Clara stadium, which is approximately 40-percent completed, is in line to stage Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.
NFL owners are set to vote May 21 in a meeting in Boston on Super Bowls 50 and 51. Levi's Stadium and SunLife Stadium in Miami are the finalists for Super Bowl 50. The loser will then compete against Houston for Super Bowl 51.
Miami's effort to win a Super Bowl was dealt a crushing blow last week when the state legislature declined to move forward with a proposal for stadium renovations. The league has said that stadium improvements were necessary for Miami to be a viable contender for another Super Bowl.
York said the timing of the stadium naming-rights deal and the upcoming vote of league owners is a coincidence. Bergh said he first met with York in December to begin discussions about the stadium naming rights, and the discussions heated up as the 49ers marched toward their Super Bowl appearance against the Baltimore Ravens.
The deal is expected to be made official on Thursday when the naming rights proposal is presented to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews also attended the press conference. The 49ers are moving out of San Francisco, but the team's major sponsor is headquartered in San Francisco.
"It's still the San Francisco 49ers, and we all win as a region," Lee said.
"Every time a fan turns on their television to watch a 49ers home game from Levi's Stadium, the entire region will be on center stage. And, in a few short weeks, we are hopeful that we will host Super Bowl 50 or 51 and experience the enormous economic boost and lasting legacy for the entire Bay Area."