The San Francisco 49ers opened the 2014 season with a 28-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. That, however, won't be their biggest opener of the season. On Sunday Night Football, the 49ers will play their first regular season game at Levi's Stadium. The stadium has already hosted a few events, including a San Jose Earthquakes game in Major League Soccer and a sold-out international friendly between Mexico and Chile last Saturday. The events also include two 49ers preseason games, which were two of the three most expensive preseason games in the league on the secondary market, but this will be the first time the resident team will play a game that counts.
Sunday night's game is the most expensive in the NFL for Week 2, but is not the most expensive home San Francisco 49ers game this season. According to TiqIQ, the average price for the game on the secondary market is $350.36, which is technically below the season average for 49ers tickets in 2014. That average, though, is skewed by the price of a game against the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving night. That game currently has an average price of $556.25, 59 percent higher than the next most expensive home game. Without including the Seahawks game, the 49ers home opener is 2 percent above the average of the other seven games.
While the season opener is a big event for the franchise, it will not cost nearly as much as the final game at Candlestick Park last season on the secondary market. The average price of the Week 16 game against the Atlanta Falcons was $434.13. That makes the Levi's Stadium opener 19 percent less expensive than the Candlestick Park finale. But yet again a monumental event played second fiddle to a game against the Seahawks on the secondary market. Last season's Week 14 game against Seattle had an average price of $531.17, 22 percent more expensive than the Candlestick finale.
Overall the season average for 2014 is 40 percent more expensive than the season average in 2013 on the secondary market. That is down slightly from the year-to-year increase for prices when the NFL schedule was first released and the 49ers had a season average just under $400.
San Francisco's opponent for the home opener is the Chicago Bears. The Bears were expected to take a high powered offense to a playoff appearance, but fell to the Buffalo Bills in overtime at home in Week 1. San Francisco was supposed to struggle on defense while missing important players like NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, but the unit had no trouble handling the Cowboys. Scoring a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery two snaps into the game helped ease any defensive questions.
If 49ers fans show up like they did on the road in AT&T Stadium -- seemingly filling half of the 80,000 capacity -- Levi's Stadium will have an electric atmosphere for the home opener. The 68,500 capacity stadium -- about 1,000 fewer than Candlestick -- could have a playoff feel many 49ers games have had since the Jim Harbaugh era began.