The San Francisco 49ers will host the Seattle Seahawks for a wet and windy NFC wild card game Saturday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday that “bad weather is slowing play and leveling things up,” amid initial weather forecasts of heavy downpours that could cause flooding in the morning, along with wind gusts of up to 33 mph and a 60 chance % on showers. and thunder around the kickoff.
Since then, weather experts have gone so far as to warn fans not to drive to the game because of the “powerful storm” as Santa Clara County officials issued evacuation warnings for several areas in the South Bay on Friday night.
Those warnings apparently didn’t deter fans at all. A Saturday morning report from local news channel Fox2 showed that many fans have been lining up in their cars outside Levi’s Stadium since 6 a.m. local time.
“Bad weather games are the best games,” said one of the fans.
Visitors who decide to arrive later may not have the same feeling, with one media member write that he had “already witnessed an accident and several cars lose control” on the way to Levi’s Stadium.
ESPN reporter Kimberley Martin tweeted a glimpse of Bay Area conditions in the early morning, and it didn’t look great at all. Closer to 8 a.m., she updated fans with more footage of the tarp-covered pitch, writing that the rain had lifted “quite a bit”.
With the rain expected to continue at least through the first quarter, NFL Network reporter Steve Wyche added that “the wind is cracking.”
Shanahan arrived at Levi’s Stadium around 9am with a dry callsheet in hand. Based on his Thursday comments, he has a plan of action, regardless of the weather.
The 49ers are the favorites over Seattle and started their season with a disappointing loss in Chicago on a soaking wet field against a Bears team that finished the season with a 3-14 record.
“You have everything in the game plan to make it work out anyway, not just because of the weather, but if you’re struggling in any aspect, so you’ve always planned that out and we know it’s a big possibility Shanahan said. “We’ll see how it affects both sides and we’ll adjust accordingly.”