Alabama and Clemson meet Monday night for the fourth straight year in the College Football Playoff, and it’s the third time the National Championship is at stake. Ticket brokers expecting a big payoff are taking a bath, with prices down nearly 75% over the past two weeks. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, is a haul for the core fan bases of Alabama and Clemson, and travel costs are prohibitive for many.As the host team for the title game, the San Francisco 49ers are also expected to endure plenty of red ink, to the tune of $8 million to $12 million, according to San Francisco 49ers president Al Guido.
“You can get highly critical of any one-event P&L without thinking about the broader business,” Guido told the Silicon Valley Business Journal last month in detailing the economics behind the game for the 49ers. The Santa Clara Stadium Authority owns the stadium, but the 49ers operate the building. The NCAA controls most of the ticket inventory for the game, but the team expects to generate roughly $15 million in revenue from advertising, suites, concessions and its allocation of 6,000 seats to the game. Yet, the 49ers are on the hook for costs related to the event of $25 million.
The one-off loss is a drop in the bucket compared with the $1.3 billion in revenue the 49ers locked up before the stadium opened in 2014. Fans and companies commit to tickets, luxury suites and advertising expecting access to big events like Monday’s game. The 49ers have delivered. Levi’s Stadium has hosted Super Bowl 50, WrestleMania 31, Pac-12 Football Championship games annually, and concerts featuring artists like Taylor Swift, One Direction and Kenny Chesney.