SANTA CLARA -- Niners fans ready for some football will have to settle for some futbol Saturday night as the crimson-and-gold baptize their new NFL cathedral with a "soft opening": a San Jose Earthquakes soccer match that will fill two-thirds of Levi's Stadium.

Still, like eager fans dissecting every morsel of information from the Niners' ongoing training camp, there will be lots of signs to watch for in gauging whether the $1.3 billion Santa Clara stadium will be a hit -- and what needs improving. Here are some items the experts will be keeping a close eye on Saturday night:

1. Getting there. Traffic -- and for some, crowded trains -- continues to be the top concern for fans worried that 70,000 people descending on the same place might be too much for the medium-size suburb to handle. Here's the reality: 49ers and city officials say you can create at least part of your traffic destiny by planning ahead and using assigned routes designed to spread out traffic to dozens of parking lots.

"Do not use Google or rely on your general knowledge of the area. Have patience, and read the directions," said police Chief Michael Sellers. "If you try to wing it, you may not be able to get to your parking lot."


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But since many fans won't listen, the Niners and police will be monitoring parking lots and roads constantly, updating 34 digital message signs on the freeways and local streets that will direct fans to their designated lot.

Transit riders also need to do their homework to review the brand-new special-event schedule and figure out exactly what trains to take to avoid winding up on the wrong side of town.

2."‚Parking. With as many as 30,000 spaces within a mile of the stadium to fit about 20,000 expected vehicles, quantity is not the issue here. Rather, people will undoubtedly try to game the system by parking in nearby residential neighborhoods, skirt rules in and around transit lots and try to overload the best stadium lots instead of parking farther away. Again, police will be out in full force.

3."‚Security. With more than 3,000 employees working Saturday, the biggest factor in whether you make it through the gates in time for the opening whistle will be whether everyone arrives all at once -- like just before the game starts, said Jim Mercurio, the 49ers vice president of stadium operations and security.

"You're going to be standing in line for a long time" if that happens, Mercurio said. But if fans arrive early, "there shouldn't be much of a wait at all."

Inside the stadium, police await their first arrest or detainment to test out the jail they've built in the stadium.

And fans will get to see whether the publicized party-pooper list of new rules -- including no throwing footballs in the parking lot, no swearing inside the stadium and no taunting opposing fans -- will really result in ejection or citation.

4."‚Concessions. Touted as a foodie stadium, with the high prices to go with it, eventgoers will be the true judge. The quality and wait times will determine whether the prices -- such as $6.25 "frankfurters," $10.25 domestic beers and $8 pizza slices -- are worth it.

5."‚Bathrooms. Sports fans who don't want to miss the big play should know the stadium has 81 restrooms -- 33 men's, 33 women's and 15 family bathrooms -- though about half of those are in pricey suite and club areas that most fans won't have access to.

"There shouldn't be any bathroom lines, in my view," Mercurio said.