The first team the San Francisco 49ers beat in their inaugural 1971 season at Candlestick Park?
The Chicago Bears.
The first team the 49ers will face in their opening campaign at Levi’s® Stadium?
You only get one chance to start a stadium out right, and San Francisco's Santa Clara-based squad will have its chance on Sept. 14.
For many here and beyond the Bay Area, this was the big news when the NFL released every team’s regular season schedule on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT.
Sure, the 49ers will host the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers in Weeks 2 and 3 of the preseason, respectively, but those games won’t officially count in the win-loss column.
San Francisco's Week 2 matchup in the fall opposite the NFC North’s Bears, a 5:30 p.m. PT affair on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” begins a new era.
And it’s hard not to look ahead, even if it is 144 days away.
Related: 49ers 2014 Ticket Information
A lot has to be done before then. In recent weeks, the 49ers have installed their natural-grass field and the NFL’s first collapsible field-goal posts plus announced single-game tickets for the venue’s first ever college football game, all the while completing a massive construction project.
The Bears represent a fitting first opponent. Occupants of their Soldier Field since 1971, they have one of the NFL’s storied franchises.
Chicago has been coming to San Francisco since Sept. 24, 1950, when the Bears won at Kezar Stadium, 32-20.
The NFC combatants met for the first time at Candlestick on Oct. 17, 1971 in the 49ers first victory there. Quarterback John Brodie threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Gene Washington to seal the 13-0 win.
Consider this as well: Former Bears quarterback and current 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will have
We can’t wait.