49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Thursday that “bad weather slows the game down and equalizes stuff,” amid initial weather forecasts of heavy rains that could cause flooding in the morning along with wind gusts up to 33 mph and a 60% chance of showers and thunder around kickoff.
Since then, weather experts have gone as far as warning fans not to drive to the game due to the “potent storm” as officials in Santa Clara County issued evacuation warnings for several areas in the South Bay early Friday evening.
Those warnings apparently did not stop fans at all. A Saturday morning report from local news station Fox2 showed that plenty of fans have been lined up in their cars outside of Levi’s Stadium since 6 a.m. local time.
“Bad weather games are the best games,” one of the fans said.
Attendees who decide to arrive later may not have the same sentiment, with one media member writing that he had “already witnessed an accident and multiple cars that had lost control” en route to Levi’s Stadium.
ESPN reporter Kimberley A. Martin tweeted an early-morning glimpse of the Bay Area conditions, and it didn’t look great at all. Closer to 8 a.m., she updated fans with more visuals of the tarp covered field, writing that rain had picked up “quite a bit.”
With rain forecasted to continue at least through the first quarter, NFL Network reporter Steve Wyche added that “the wind is cracking” as well.
Shanahan arrived to Levi’s Stadium around 9 a.m. with a dry call sheet in hand. Based on his Thursday comments, he has a plan of action regardless of the weather.
The 49ers are 9.5-point favorites over Seattle and opened their season with an upset loss in Chicago on a sopping wet field to a Bears team that ended its season with a 3-14 record.
“You have everything in the game plan for it to go any way, not just because of weather, but whether you’re struggling in any aspect too, so you always got that planned and we know it’s a big possibility,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see how it affects both sides and we’ll adjust accordingly.”