Home of the San Francisco Forty Niners and the former home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, Candlestick Park is the only stadium in the country to have hosted six NFC Championship Games, three Western Division Championships, 12 NFC West Conference Games, two World Series, and two All-star games.
The history behind the original name of Candlestick Park was quite colorful. Candlestick Point and the cove in its embrace were named long ago after the indigenous candlestick bird. A member of the curlew family, the candlestick is a wading bird with long, thin legs and a body about the size of a chicken, according to nationally known ornithologist Henry L. Betten. At one time thousands of these birds inhabited the Bay Area, but they were nearly hunted to extinction by the 1950s due toothe enormous demand for their delicate and delicious meat.
Candlestick originally was constructed by Charles Harney, General Contractor in 1958. The first game at Candlestick Point was played on April 12, 1960, between the Giants and St. Louis. The then-near-capacity crowd of 42,269 watched the Giants beat the Cardinals 3 - 2. In November 1969 the stadium, which spans 14.5 acres on an 83-acre site, was expanded by General Contractor William and Burrows to seat 62,000 during football games and 59,000 during baseball games, becoming one of the first modern multipurpose stadiums. In order to keep its facilities and services up to date, Candlestick Park undergoes annual renovations each spring. The next renovation phase will increase seating capacity to 71,000. Phones for the hearing impaired have been installed, all restrooms are now wheelchair accessible, and the concourses were recently enlarged.
The Stadium has six escalators, three passenger elevators, and one freight elevator. At one time its escalators were considered the longest in the country. There are four locker rooms, two first-aid stations, 2,000 locks, and 44 concession stands. Parking capacity is an ample 8,000 cars, 300 buses, 200 limousines, and 300 motorhomes.
Brilliant lighting for night events is supplied by nine 140 to 240 foot towers, providing more than 350 foot-candles of light on the arena surface. It is considered to be the best-lighted stadium in the United States, literally turning night into day and exceeding the requirements of color television cameras. A new, state-of-the-art Sony video display board was installed in January 1994.
In addition to hosting baseball and football games, Candlestick Park holds ride and drive events in the parking lot, Mickey Thompson Off-Road Races, and rock concerts. In fact, the Beatles performed their last U.S. concert there on August 29, 1966. The Rolling Stones and Monsters of Rock concerts, in 1981 and 1987, respectively, each drew crowds of 85,000, and Pope John Paul II's 1987 visit attracted 86,000 people.
"As much as the San Francisco 49ers' tradition is defined by great stars - from Y.A. Tittle to Joe Montana to Steve Young and Jerry Rice - its home stadium is surrounded by an incomparable aura. Candlestick Park is a menacing structure that can give you the chills.
Start with the breathtaking view of San Francisco Bay on the stadium's side. Add the aroma of the popular tailgate parties. Witness hotdog wrappers swirling in the unpredictable wind. Bundle up for typically brisk and damp conditions, and brace for a sea of 49ers - red outerwear in the stands. These are some of the things that make the "the Stick" perhaps the NFL's most flavorful venue. Like the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf, Candlestick Park is a true slice of San Francisco.
Unless you're tailgating, you have no reason to eat before entering the Stick, and it's always wise to bring a jacket, even if its 70 degrees and sunny when you depart for the stadium.
All things considered, it's a unique experience - and the quality of football is pretty good, too. Of course, getting a ticket to this tast of the city can be difficult, but if you haven't been to a 49ers game at Candlestick, the experience could be worth the price you have to pay."
As written by The Sports Staff of USA TODAY in "The Complete Four Sport Stadium Guide" for Fodor's Sports
Top of the Sixth
San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, September 23, 1998
Let's say you want to bring your own food into a 49ers game at Candlestick Park. The rules prohibit alcohol, glass bottles and cans, but plastic bottles and thermoses are permitted.
Fruit is allowed, although it "must be cut into pieces prior to entering" (so forget the idea of hurling oranges). Now, you've made a lot of sandwiches. So you may be wondering how big a cooler you can lug in.
On this issue, the 49ers are remarkably permissive. According to the club's rules on page 58 of the game program, fans can carry "coolers or ice chests measuring 14 feet wide, 13 feet high, 15 feet deep or less."
"That's about the size of a studio apartment with high ceilings," says Jim Anza of Tracy. "So one man's ice chest is another man's castle. I'm not sure what to make of this rule, but I want to see your wife carry one in. And if she can, we could use her on the defensive line."
January 29, 1999 - A survey of players by the NFL Players Association voted San Francisco as the worst grass field and fifth worst overall, behind Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New York.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
December 10, 2000 - Opened in 1960, the originally named "Candlestick Park" has been the home to 6 NFC Championship games, two world series and 2 MLB all star games. Since the Giants have departed for their beautiful new ballpark, Pacific Bell Park, the 49ers are now the sole tenant of this stadium.
|Candlestick Park Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 6|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 3|
|Bonus: Tailgate Scene|| 2|
|Bonus: "Garlic Fries"|| 1|
|Total Score|| 37|
The building is located right on San Francisco bay on a piece of parkland called Candlestick Point. Opened in 1960, the stadium seats just under 70,000 for football. Other than the park, there is little around the stadium other than a multitude of surface lots ($20 to park), and reasonably easy access off the adjacent freeway. It is located about 8 miles south of downtown San Francisco.
Fans here arrive early to tailgate, and there is plenty to absorb in terms of the sights and smells of 49ers red and gold out in the parking lot. Despite the teams recent swoon, ticket demand remains high, and the Niners pretty much sell out all their games. Every seat in the house is the same price - $51. There are no premium/club seats, but there are some luxury suites hanging underneath the balcony.
Maneuvering your way around the stadium is a chore - concourses are super narrow, despite the fact that we were told that they had recently been widened (where???). There are escalators at each corner to ferry people to the upper concourse. From the mezzanine level or the upper level, one can enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline, the bay, or the mountains depending which side of the stadium you are looking out from. Once in your seats, you realize how many locations have hideous sightlines: the baseball configuration remains intact so if you sit along the right field seats or on the visitor bleacher sides, you are far from the action and in some cases have a partial obstruction. At one end zone is a mammoth one color dot matrix board and accompanying jumbotron.
Probably the one bright spot here is the variety of food... one is told to come hungry and if you're not tailgating, there is plenty to choose from including chinese, mexican, vegetarian, and the most noticable confectionary was the garlic fries... the heavy and enticing smell of garlic was everywhere. Unfortunately, we didn't eat anything there for two reasons - first the lines were endlessly long, and second, we sampled the local fare with some of the fans in the parking lot who graciously invited us to join their tailgate party and gave us a warm San Francisco welcome. NOCAL people beat SOCAL people anytime in terms of warmth and friendliness!
One of the biggest disappointments of this building was the lack of any of this teams' rich history on display. Ron, consider this - 5 Super Bowl titles... greats such as Montana, Brodie, Clark, and soon to depart, Rice. Yet no banners or names on display to enshrine these teams and these players. No problem, we thought, there must be a display in the concourse, or a team museum, something, anything! So we looked and looked, but came up empty. It's like nobody cares.
We really have so little to say about this place. The stadium is drab and ordinary, the team is mired in mediocrity, and when the best thing we have to report about is the views of the city and the french fries, you know that is a pretty sad statement. But you know what? This is still SAN FRANCISCO, one of America's greatest world class cities! And you know what else? Our day is not over yet... we're heading over to the BART train and catching the ride to Oakland.... Sunday night ESPN game of the week... where else would you rather be!
CALIFORNIA COURT TO EXAMINE STADIUM SEARCHES
January 8, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
San Francisco, Calif. - The California Supreme Court could set new ground rules for the clash
between privacy and security in a case from an unusual setting - Candlestick Park, where 49ers
fans are subjected to pat-down searches before entering the stadium.
The court has heard arguments in an appeal by a Danville couple whose lawsuit challenging
the pat-downs was tossed out on the grounds that they consented to be searched when they bought
season tickets. Their lawyers say any consent was coerced and that a company could give the same
rationale for conducting body searches at work or wiretapping customers' phones, as long as it
announced its intentions ahead of time.
"A commercial entity may not constitutionally require its patrons to give up their privacy rights
as a condition of doing business," attorney Mark White said in written arguments to the court.
He said that's particularly true in this case because the National Football League, which
ordered the search policy, is "the only game in town" - fans of big-time football can't simply
patronize a competitor.
Sorry, the 49ers replied. White's clients and every other fan can either buy tickets, which tell
them they will be patted down, or find "an alternate form of recreation," the team told the court.
Football fans spend hours in stadiums packed with tens of thousands of people and don't have
much of a "reasonable expectation of privacy in the sense of not being touched by strangers," said Sonya Winner, a lawyer for the team.
A ruling is due within 90 days. The justices may use the case to define the privacy rights of
business customers in California.
The NFL required the searches at all games as an anti-terrorist measure in 2005, three years
after Super Bowl spectators were first subjected to pat-downs. Screeners outside the stadium pat
down fans' backs and the sides of their legs and upper bodies.
The policy has survived all legal challenges so far, including a 2007 ruling by a federal appeals
court in Atlanta that said fans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games agreed to be searched when they
bought their tickets.
The current suit may be stronger, however, because California voters added privacy rights to
the state Constitution in 1972 - rights that, unlike their federal counterpart, protect people against intrusions by businesses as well as the government. (San Francisco Chronicle)
October 29, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
San Francisco voters will decide Nov. 3 whether Candlestick
Park's name can be sold. Proposition C, if approved, would allow the 49ers, who are leasing the
city-owned site at least through 2013, to sell the naming rights to the stadium. The Recreation and
Park Department would be a beneficiary of the legislation. The proposition establishes a city policy
that half of any revenues taken in by San Francisco be directed to fund directors at recreation
November 5, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
San Francisco voters have repealed an earlier measure to allow naming rights to be sold for the
49ers stadium. Candlestick Park will now be eligible for a corporate name. Half the proceeds of any
sale must go to help fund city recreation centers.
49ERS WANT RENT REDUCTION AT CANDLESTICK
July 1, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
San Francisco, Calif. - The 49ers are asking the city for a rent reduction for use of Candlestick
Park because of deficiencies in the facility, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Niners recently filed a formal claim with the city, a precursor to a possible lawsuit, saying
they have lost revenues because the city hasn't maintained the stadium as required in the lease signed back in 1969 and amended over the years.
The claim, the second over maintenance that the team has lodged with the city since 2007, doesn't specify a dollar amount for the alleged damages other than saying it's greater than $25,000.
Michael Cohen, head of the city's economic and workforce development office, downplayed the
development as fairly routine. "Every two years or so, the Niners come to us with a list of deferred maintenance issues,"
Cohen told the newspaper. "We sort out the critical items ... and figure out a program to get those done, usually in the form of rent credits."
The Chronicle said the 49ers and San Francisco officials have wrangled for years over repairs at the 50-year-old stadium, where the team has complained of leaks in luxury suites, rusty light towers and steps, cracked walkways, clogged drains, broken escalators and elevators and periodic flooding of parking lots.
The claim cited by the paper cites Mayor Gavin Newsom's comments from a year ago when he said Candlestick Park was "a lousy stadium" and "in terrible disrepair." At the time, the 49ers were demanding that the city complete about $60 million in repairs without the team pledging to remain in San Francisco.
"I won't do it - (it's) subsidizing very wealthy people when we should be spending money on poor people," Newsom said then. "I'm trying to make sure public housing residents have adequate heating this year. I'm less worried about billionaires getting their stadium. It's a literal trade-off - these are real dollars."
The team's lease at Candlestick runs through 2013 (the team can exercise five-year options after that), and the Niners hope to have a new stadium built in Santa Clara by the 2014 season, the newspaper said.
CANDLESTICK GENERATING MORE MONEY FOR CITY
August 12, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
San Francisco, Calif. - San Francisco made $190,000 in additional revenue from Candlestick
Park in the last fiscal year on events not related to football, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The profits come as the parks and recreation department has had to cut $12.4 million from its $33.4 million general fund budget and park officials have struggled with balancing the stadium's books, the newspaper said.
Financial reports show the department gains about $5.5 million in revenue annually from the San Francisco 49ers, but it spends about $4.1 million maintaining the stadium, netting about $1.4 million. The 49ers play 10 games per year at Candlestick.
The 49ers' lease with The City is up at the end of the 2012 season. And whether they move to a $937 million stadium in Santa Clara for the 2014 season or stay in the city, the old Candlestick Park will be demolished under a major redevelopment plan, the newspaper reported.
There are no plans for a new stadium if the 49ers do leave. If they stay, master developer Lennar Corp. has offered $100 million from redevelopment funds to help build a new stadium, with a lease of only $1 a year.
49ERS FACING NEW LEASE AT CANDLESTICK
October 28, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
San Francisco, Calif. - The San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers and the City of San
Francisco have yet to talk about renewal of the team's lease at Candlestick Park. The lease expires in 2012.
Niners President Jed York told the newspaper he hasn't talked to Mayor Gavin Newsom in two years and isn't holding his breath about the two having a meeting of the minds anytime soon.
"I'm happy to sit down with him, but I think he's focused on other opportunities outside the city at this point," York said, a reference to the mayor's run for lieutenant governor.
York also emphasized to the Chronicle, "We need to make sure the building is maintained and suitable for an NFL game at the highest quality that our fans deserve."
Newsom's press secretary, Tony Winnicker, told the Chronicle the city has already put $25 million into restroom, elevator, parking lot and other upgrades since 2004.
"But unless the team ownership is prepared to make a longer term commitment to the city, the idea that the taxpayers of San Francisco are going to foot the bill for millions of dollars of new luxury boxes and TV flat screens is straight out of the fantasy football league," Winnicker said.
49ERS EXTEND LEASE AT CANDLESTICK
January 6, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
San Francisco, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers have come to terms with the city on a new
lease that will keep the team in Candlestick Park until 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The deal, which still needs the approval of the Recreation and Park Commission and the Board of Supervisors, gives the Niners more flexibility to pull up stakes and move to Santa Clara, but also settles a $60 million maintenance claim the team had filed against the city, a precursor to a lawsuit.
The 49ers' current Candlestick Park lease expires after the 2012 season. Renewing the lease would mean signing on for an additional five years. But the team hopes to move into a proposed stadium in Santa Clara in 2015 and doesn't want to be on the hook to San Francisco for years of rent for a decaying stadium it's not using, the newspaper said.
The new agreement lets the team renew its Candlestick lease for five years starting after this season, but it allows the team to opt out of the last year, which would be the 2015 season. The Niners would also have the option of one-year lease extensions every year until 2023, when the current lease would have expired.
"It gives us time to remind them that San Francisco loves them," Newsom, who is pushing through proposals on multiple fronts in his whirlwind final days before being sworn in as lieutenant governor in January, told the Chronicle.
The team will get rent credit for completing $6.5 million in lapsed maintenance work over the next two years that the city was obligated to handle, like repaving the parking lot, flood control work for the lot, replacing seats and fixing leaks in luxury suites. The team will get an additional $4 million to $6 million in either rent reduction or credit on the back end of the deal.
The team pays about $6 million a year to the city in combined rent for the stadium, including a cut of parking and advertising revenue, but had been battling for a decade saying the city has failed to maintain Candlestick as required under the lease. Periodically, the two sides have reached deals where the team pays to do the work and gets credit toward its lease. This latest deal comes as the deadline loomed for the team to file a lawsuit.
The Chronicle said Newsom believes the deal helps pave the way for the team to consider staying in the city and building a new stadium in a redeveloped Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. That proposal has already received voter and city approval.
49ERS CLOSE IN ON CANDLESTICK LEASE
January 27, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
San Francisco, Calif. - The Recreation and Park Commission unanimously approved a
nonbinding term sheet that codifies a deal San Francisco reached in principle with the 49ers in December, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Now the deal has to be codified in a binding lease amendment that will still need commission and Board of Supervisor approval.
The tentative deal would give the 49ers millions in rent credits to fix up the stadium.
The 49ers' current Candlestick Park lease expires after the 2012 season. Renewing the lease would mean signing on for an additional five years. But the team hopes to move into a proposed stadium in Santa Clara in 2015 and doesn't want to be on the hook to San Francisco for years of rent for a stadium it's not using, the newspaper said.
The new agreement lets the team renew its Candlestick lease for five years starting this year, but it allows the team to opt out of the last year, which would be the 2015 season. The Niners would also have the option of one-year lease extensions every year until 2023, when the current lease would have expired.
It also would settle a $60 million maintenance claim the team had filed against the city - a precursor to a lawsuit. The clock is ticking on the deadline for the team to file that suit, and newspaper said the Board of Supervisors is expected to take up a measure that would push that deadline back, allowing more time for the lease deal to be finalized.