The Niners have always counted on neighboring businesses and other outfits to provide 21,000 parking spaces on game days for fans at Levi’s Stadium.
That will work fine on Sundays, when no one’s toiling away at those businesses. It will be a different story, however, if 68,500 fans converge for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff and all those lots are full of employees’ cars.
The upshot: No Monday night (or Thursday night) football for the team’s inaugural season in Santa Clara next year, and maybe not after that, either.
“It’s a busy area. We are still formulating all of our parking,” said Santa Clara City Councilwoman Lisa Gillmor, who also sits on the stadium authority.
“Formulating” here seems to mean “begging local employers to rent them more spots, and so far coming up empty.” It’s not a disaster for the 49ers if they’re shut out of MNF — ESPN’s TV rights money goes into the general league pool, so the 49ers don’t see any direct loss of revenue from not being able to play on Monday nights. Still, it’s a loss of marketing ability, not to mention kind of an embarrassment to the team and the league not to be able to showcase its newest stadium and its groundbreaking wifi network. Something’s going to have to give here eventually, but it’s not clear yet what it’ll be.