SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers are preparing to host their first playoff game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The game is set for 1:35 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, but their opponent is not yet decided.
The team says the end zones at Levi's Stadium will be changed for the post season and painted red with gold lettering, with plans in the works to arrange half-time entertainment and a giveaway for fans.
"That excitement is going to turn into business for Santa Clara and Silicon Valley," said David Andre, an adjunct professor at San Jose State University.
Andre, who spent 27 years promoting tourism in Santa Clara, now teachers about tourism and destination marketing at San Jose State and says the playoff game will provide an economic boost to the region.
"It means more people are coming to town, more people are going to eat at the restaurants, more people are going to fill up with gas, more people are going to spend the weekend in Santa Clara at the hotels."
"After the holidays, we usually get really slow. The game definitely brings a lot more business," said Caleb Dunkle, the general manager of the Pizza My Heart restaurant near the stadium.
Dunkle plans to have extra dough ready and stocked, along with more pizza slices and staff to accommodate football fans.
"People fly in from all over the country. I talk to people either from where the other team is from or just here to see the 49ers all the time. It's kind of crazy," said Dunkle.
Levi's Stadium has hosted high-profile events before, most notably Super Bowl 50.
"Super Bowl by far was the biggest. The economic impact regionally was tremendous, in the millions. As far as this individual playoff game, it's hard to tell," said Andre.
Seven years have passed since the 49ers hosted a home playoff game.
On Friday, a team representative said tickets are still available but are expected to sell out.
Currently the cheapest seats online cost about $240.
The game also means planning for security and transportation.
VTA expects to provide its usual game day service and is waiting to see who the opponent is so they can reach out to the home city and prepare fans.
The 49ers expect more than 68,000 fans to pack the stadium on January 11.
If they win that game, the local economic boost could continue because the team would then host a second playoff game.