49ers stadium progressing ahead of schedule

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2014-02-12 18:15

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Some 50 piles of gravel sit in the middle of what this spring will be the first makings of a grass field inside Levi's Stadium.

The San Francisco 49ers' new $1.2 billion home is 80 percent complete, with about half of the red seatbacks already installed in a lower bowl that will hold 45,000, or two-thirds of stadium capacity - the largest first level in the NFL.

Team COO Al Guido hopes for a late July finish ahead of the San Jose Earthquakes' MLS match against the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 2 to open the venue.

The 49ers, who lost in the NFC title game to the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, are expected to play a Week 2 nighttime home opener based on the original stadium construction completion schedule.