The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly looking into ways to improve the fan experience at Levi's Stadium.
On Monday, Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle reported the 49ers "have engaged an architecture firm to review short and long term options to 'enhance the fan experience.'"
This comes after Killion shared a jarring image of a mostly empty stadium at the second-half kickoff of Sunday's season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers:
Ann Killion @annkillion
Second half kickoff https://t.co/sEQgbtfJIq2017-9-10 22:05:24
It should be noted Killion's picture depicts the side of the stadium under the sun. Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle called the shady side of the stadium "packed throughout and temperate" and suggested it made a significant difference in the overall enjoyment of the game:
Peter Hartlaub @peterhartlaub
Long after I'm dead, my time on this Earth forgotten, my ancestors will hail my mom for getting season tickets on shade side Levi's Stadium. https://t.co/3RARZbeReR2017-9-10 21:48:34
Killion described the beginning of a new era for the 49ers in a discouraging way for those looking for an immediate turnaround under head coach Kyle Shanahan: "Turns out that a new head coach, a new general manager and a few promising players aren't enough of a counterweight to expensive tickets, tough parking, terrible traffic and 91-degree heat on the blistering side of the stadium."
While doing something about the temperature and sun is beyond the 49ers' immediate options as they begin to explore ways to enhance the fan experience, winning would likely make a difference.
The five-time Super Bowl champions once gave fans the opportunity to watch the likes of Jerry Rice, Steve Young and Joe Montana, but they haven't been to the playoffs since the 2013 campaign and are coming off a disastrous 2-14 season.
San Francisco didn't show many signs of a quick turnaround during Sunday's 23-3 loss, but fans can at least take solace knowing the sun won't be as bright during its next home game—Week 3's Thursday night contest against the Los Angeles Rams.