We're all about the fan experience! If you're a 49er fan traveling in from out of town, bring something for the cooler and something for the grill and join us for a great time. We've created an award winning tailgate for you to enjoy before the game and get in some quality time with fellow 49ers fans, Candlestick style.
Santa Clara, CA - Empire Row sits in the middle of Levis Stadiums Green Lot-1 which is run by some of the truest Diehard 49er fans you will ever meet. They are passionate about their team and have created and share the best 49er tailgate experience ever. The name "Empire Row" came up during the tailgater of the year competition at the end of the inaugural season at Levis in 2014 when AJ Esperanza "the founder" of the world wide Niner Empire movement posted a message on social media saying, "Come to Empire Row".
The name stuck and during the off season AJ and The Niner Empire Organization brought together Candlestick era award winning tailgaters to join forces and create a taste of the Candlestick tailgating experience to our team’s new home. During the Candlestick days these groups tailgated on their own and over the years as they met each other would connect their groups.
Towards the end of Candlestick one of the bigger tailgate groups was known as "The Red Zone” tailgating crew which had gotten it's start around 1996 eventually consisted of fellow Candlestick tailgaters Antonio Arevalo of "The Red Zone Tailgate", Auggie Perez of "Mine49" and Jorge Gutierrez of "La Klicka". On every game day you would be sure to find them at Pole R hosting the biggest gathering of the tailgate at the stadium’s parking lot. They would have the best foods on the grill and were known to usually have a huge performances by 49er faithful recording artists performing their Niner Anthems live for the fans before heading into the game. They would also go on to become the very first tailgating group to win Candlestick’s "Tailgater of the Game" award.
The Red Zone crew had made it all about the fan experience where fans who had never met each other would hang out and have have a great time chatting up or getting into long discussions about the upcoming game or sharing past 49ers moments amongst each other with LOTS of personal memories shared!
Having done this amazing tailgate set up and experience over the years and truly understanding what it takes to do it BIG and right, it was no brainer to then form the Empire Row tailgating party with them at its foundation. When the original tailgating crew from Candlestick got to Levi’s in it's inaugural year they met another 49er Faithful Abel Rueda, a south bay native and tailgater from the Facebook Group, "Forty Niner Faithful Forum" aka "F.F.F." who joined in and together they are now known as "Empire Row - Kings of the Tailgate".
You cannot miss them cause you will know when you’re at Empire Row so please be sure to join them in Green Lot 1, right outside the stadium. You will truly feel the 49er love and the warm welcoming that they and the rest of the fans display. It’s a family thing. One Love One Family.