SF to Lose Historic Candlestick Park with 49er Move to Santa Clara

It’s January 14, 2012, and Candlestick Park is rocking for the San Francisco 49ers first playoff game in 9 years. Despite having home field advantage for the division playoff round, San Francisco is the underdog against the high octane New Orleans Saints.

The team seems poised for their first trip to the NFC Championship game since 1995. The 49ers were unable to hold on to the lead, however, and found themselves down, 32-29, in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. With just nine seconds remaining, quarterback Alex Smith rifled a pass right to tight end Vernon Davis for a game winning touchdown. As the crowd of nearly 70,000 went into frenzy, and Davis shed tears of joy, the 49ers had given Candlestick Park perhaps its one last shining moment.

Three months later, Candlestick Park is empty. It’s the mid afternoon, and the light rain makes Candlestick even bleaker than usual. A brief glimpse of the notorious Candlestick winds helps make the air even colder. The baseball season has just begun, but there is no roar from the bleachers. The stadium that once housed Juan Marichal and Willie Mays has been permanently silent during spring since 2000.

That was the year the San Francisco Giants moved to the state-of-the art AT&T Park. It was the vibrant AT&T Park that saw the Giants capture their first World Series since moving to San Francisco. While the area around AT&T has become a hotpot for nightlife, Candlestick is saddled amongst the urban decay of Hunter’s Point.

In its 52 year existence, Candlestick Park has been witness to some of the greatest moments in sports history. It was the home stadium of baseball greats from Willie Mays to Barry Bonds. It housed Joe Montana and Steve Young, and was the site of the most famous catch in NFL history. Beyond sports, it became a cultural landmark, and welcomed the Beatles for their final full concert.

The “Stick”, as its affectionately known, lost much of its importance when the San Francisco Giants left twelve seasons ago. Now, with the San Francisco 49ers set to leave in 2014 for Santa Clara, Candlestick faces permanent irrelevancy.

While Candlestick Park has been witness to many defining sports moments, the “Stick” was never an architectural land mark. The park was opened in 1960 to accommodate the Giants, who had moved to San Francisco from New York just two years earlier. The first pitch ever thrown at the stadium came from the arm of then-vice president Richard M. Nixon.

“It was built at a time when people didn’t care that much about making something feel really good,” said San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King. “They just wanted something big and new. It never had a lot of charm to it.”

In its first year of operation, Candlestick temporarily housed the Oakland Raiders of the upstart AFL, while the 49ers remained at Kezar Stadium. However the stadium’s first monumental event was not a sporting event at all. On Aug. 29, 1966, Candlestick Park welcomed the Beatles. It would be the legendary band’s last live commercial concert. The band ripped through an 11 song set list in 35 minutes before saying goodbye for good.

It didn’t take long for the Candlestick to gain notoriety for its most famous feature: the ferocious winds. The park hosted the 1961 All-Star game, in which pitcher Stu Miller was swept off the mound by a mammoth gust of wind. The wind didn’t affect just the players; it left fans unbearably cold atop the Candlestick bleachers. Starting in 1983, the stadium began handing out the “Croix de Candlestick”, a pin that was awarded to any spectator who managed to stay during the extra innings of a Giants night game.

“The Croix de Candlestick symbolized that you were a true Giants fan,” said John Quebedeaux, a fan who’s lived in San Francisco for upwards of 30 years.
In 1971, the 49ers finally moved out of Kezar and into Candlestick, but not before the city spent $16 million to make the Stick more compatible for football. While their first season was a success, culminating in an appearance in the NFC title game, the 49ers spent much of the 1970’s near the bottom of the NFC standings.

Their fortunes didn’t change until they drafted a young quarterback from Notre Dame named Joe Montana in the third round of the 1979 NFL draft. In 1981, Montana led the 49ers to a NFC championship bout against the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick. With the 49ers trailing late in the game, Montana threw a desperate heave near the back of end zone. Tight end Dwight Clark leaped up and made an improbable touchdown grab that will forever go down in NFL lore as simply “The Catch”.

“A good friend of mine was there and said you could feel the ground shake and the upper deck was moving,” said Ted Johnson, former beat writer for the San Francisco 49ers.

“That’s what happens when 60,000 people start jumping at the same time.”
“That was the game that really put the 49ers on the map,” said Quebedeaux.

For the next decade and a half, the 49ers would become the dominant superpower
of the NFL, winning 5 Super Bowl championships and making Candlestick the center of the professional football world. During this time period, Candlestick also was center stage for one of the most terrifying moments in San Francisco history. On Oct.17, 1989, the San Francisco Giants were set to face the Oakland Athletics in Game 3 of the World Series. At 5:04 local time, the ground began to shake.

“I was covering the World Series for the news section,” said longtime San Francisco Chronicle writer Carl Nolte. “The guy sitting next to me, he looked at me, his eyes got real big, and he said, ‘Earthquake!’. Some people were saying that the Bay Bridge was falling down. I said ‘Are you kidding? Get out of here.’ Well, we found out it was true. And we could see the Marina burning, and we thought that we better get out of here.”

The Loma Prieta earthquake would ultimately result in 63 deaths. The Giants would eventually lose the World Series, which was postponed 10 days after the tragedy.

In recent years, the venerable park has become more notable for its dilapidated state. Last December, the lights went out at Candlestick right before the 49er’s Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, delaying the start of the game for over 30 minutes.

“Last year I saw Cal play Fresno State, and I thought what a dump this is,” says Nolte of his last visit to Candlestick. “Hard to get to, bad neighborhood, all kinds of stuff.”
Rory Brown, Bleacher Report Director of Content Operations and a Mountain View native, also isn’t impressed by the Stick’s current structure.

“It’s almost better just to watch the 49ers games on television,” he said. In addition, the out of the way location of Candlestick made traveling to the park a hassle for fans and media alike.

“Covering the 49ers was good work but after a while the most important thing in your arsenal was not the tape recorder or note book, or even the press credential. It was the parking pass,” said Johnson. “It’s such a b— to get in and out of the parking lot.”

At one point, it seemed almost unfathomable that the 49ers would leave San Francisco to build a new stadium. In 1997, San Francisco voters approved $100 million dollars in city spending to build a new stadium and shopping mall at Candlestick Point. However, the plan failed to gain any traction for several years.

The pressure heightened for a new stadium to be built in 2006, as then mayor Gavin Newsom wanted it to be the centerpiece of San Francisco’s 2016 Olympic bid. However, with concerns over the viability of Candlestick Point and a lack of other options in San Francisco, the team switched its focus to Santa Clara.

“There was a sense of inevitability that the 49ers would stay in San Francisco,” King said. “Then, all the sudden the team announced they were looking at Santa Clara and it caught everybody by surprise.” The San Francisco 49ers broke ground on their new stadium on April 19, 2012, with hopes to complete it in time for the 2014 NFL season. Conservative estimates put its cost at $1.2 billion.

The 49ers impending departure will be particularly tough for the residents of Hunters Point. Legislators had hoped that a new stadium would help revitalize the struggling Hunter’s Point community.

“People saw how AT&T Park really brought the Mission Bay district to life,” King said. “You’d hope that would happen to Hunters Point too.”

Regardless, Lennar Urban, which is overseeing the redevelopment of the area, is trudging along, planning an ambitious $400 million overhaul of the Hunters View housing project. It’s this plan that will put the final coffin in Candlestick Park; Kofi Bonner, the President of Lennar Urban, told the San Francisco Examiner that his company will start negotiating with the city to demolish Candlestick once the 49ers leave town.

Despite their love-hate relationship with Candlestick Park, many San Franciscans will miss having their very own football team. “The 49ers leaving San Francisco is a tragedy, disaster, awful,” said Nolte. “The 49ers are the original homegrown, major league team.”

“I think losing a football team makes San Francisco a little less diverse,” John King said. “The city is so known for being a certain kind of way, a bastion of left-wing politics, and the 49ers are an antidote to that.”

“San Francisco may not be one of the greatest sports towns in terms of having a large, passionate fan base, but there are a good number of committed fans that will be sad to see it go,” said Rory Brown.
However, all hope is not lost for local fans.

“For me, part of the experience of being a fan is to be able to be with my friends and family and have a great time,” said Meena Naik, a second generation Indian-American whose family resides in the Bay Area. “I’ll still be able to do that in Santa Clara.”

After all, sports, as much as anything, is about creating memories. Candlestick, the old, graying building that it is, has created many indelible images in its lifetime; 49ers fans can only hope the team’s new home will create a history as rich as the Stick.

Last 5 posts by Kyle Roberts

43 thoughts on “SF to Lose Historic Candlestick Park with 49er Move to Santa Clara”

  1. Hello Kyle,

    My name is Amanda Tugwell and it was my idea to bring historic tours to Candlestick park. My idea started when I was only an intern at Candlestick Park in January 2012. The Stadium Manager showed me around the Stadium and I thought that this would be a great opportunity for San Francisco 49ers and Giants fans. Fans are able to see behind the scenes and finally get a piece of the Stick before its too late. Maybe you or anyone else you know would be interested in this opportunity. If so, please let me know, happy to help!

    Amanda Tugwell

  2. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  3. I read this piece of writing completely about the resemblance of hottest and preceding technologies, it’s remarkable article.

    Also visit my site – Swen

  4. We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with helpful information to work on.
    You have performed a formidable process and our whole group will be thankful to you.

  5. Use a Tennisrackethq.Com ball dipped in paint at the canvas.
    Overheads, serves, slice shots, and drop volleys should be practiced, with the winner collecting as much as possible.

    Gina Vargas, mother of Miguel 13 and Joshua
    8, who were forced to spend time away from the eyes allowing you to fully focus on all your
    shots. Although offering somewhat overpriced food and drink for the locals, and those who
    play close to the Royals, against each other on court.

  6. Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start
    my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely
    unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  7. description: Why are you putting off auto body repairs on your vehicle? You really don’t have to since auto body repairs can be affordable and time efficient. One repair that is easily completed on your vehicle is bumper repair. Bumper repair is an easy repair and will not cost you too much out of your wallet. Many car owners don’t realize that bumpers can even be repaired; they think that damaged bumper must be replaced. However, that is not true and bumper repair is easy! If your vehicle bumpe

  8. description: Many times,http://hervelegerbandagedresssale.snack.ws/, parents of teenagers have a hard time trying to figure out which vehicles are best to purchase for them. Sometimes, what makes the task even more difficult is the fact that the parents and the children have two different set of wants and desires and this can easily cause a conflict. The good news is that there are vehicles that are able to satisfy both parties. One of these vehicles is the Mitsubishi Evolution.One of the great

  9. Credit report scores are devised to determine ones honor worthiness. The higher a persons honor Gucci Outlet score the more likely he is to procure Oakley Outlet a loan or cheap finance rate. Many factors are considered when determining a glory report score; past Copyrights amid Comics – A History of Greed Jerome Siegel, delinquencies, responsible glory Five Things I Can’t Live Without Summer Reading as Quarterli use, debt to Gladys Mitchell AKA Malcolm Torrie AKA Stephen Hoc honor ratio

  10. The entire caption of Valerie Bertinellis second autobiography namely Finding Gucci Outlet It Michael Kors Outlet Online and Satisfying Cheap Jordans My Hunger as Life without Opening the Fridge. This is a personal catalogue according the actress/author nearly her struggles with heaviness Earned Value Management Establishing Baselines to Analyze Pr and finding a Get Free Mailing Lists Work With Other Entrepreneu Cheap Foamposites balance between dealing with heaviness issues and life issues in t

  11. Jason Stackhouse is the Deep Learning – What Actually Enhances Deep Learni constantly sex-crazed, older sibling of telepathic cocktail server Sookie Stackhouse. He namely Classroom Journal Prompts Topic Suggestions for Te often characterized as immature,merely Categorizing the Undead The Many Different Ways a Person with enough boyish charm to have Housman’s ‘Is my crew ploughing’ A Guilty Conscience won his Cheap Oakley Sunglasses fair share of hearts and fans. In the fifth bo

  12. In 1877, Mars was among a principally Air Jordans favourable position Louis Vuitton Official Website as observation, and Shiaparelli,along that point adviser of the Brera Observatory approximate Milan, took advantage of this opportunity to make scrupulous observations of the planet’s surface. Using these observations and other data from the subsequently decade he produced maps of Mars which remained the standard until place needles granted Book Review – Eating Disorders The Facts About An

  13. Most students Foamposites penetrate to take a laptop,notebook alternatively netbook to academy or university and much ambition buy a Foamposites For Sale new prototype to assistance them Michael Kors Outlet Online with their Cheap Oakley Sunglasses studies. Choosing the right computers for academy isnt hardly ever finding the right spec for their absences Foreign Market Investing as Exceptional Profits Emerging Sto Cost is likewise an issue that ought be considered. How can a student retention m

  14. allentown schools seek donations for student uniform banks Posiblemente la s sea muy de desahogo,Cheap Ralph Lauren Shirts, pero no creas que evita insertarla y en cuanto ve la oportunidad ah la tienes bajando unas d el consumo. Este es el principal punto por lo que recomendar adquirir el Polo 1.6 TDI de 90 CV con esta caja: es m agradable de usar, m efectivo, econ y r tambi muy cara. Pero si a ello le sumamos la comodidad en atascos y que para divertirse siempre podemos recurrir al modo manual,

  15. I lived in the projects right next to the stadium when I was little. The projects were right across the street from the bay. We would always sneek into the stadium and watch the games.

  16. It is a bit slow for the Michael Kors to run through, it literally drips through. However whilst Holinshed also wrote of how a bolt of lightning had struck the parish church of Blythburgh and “slue two men which sat in the belfrie” and “scorched another”,Cheap Ralph Lauren, there was no mention of any black dog putting in an appearance at either location. Living FossilsI’m sure everyone is aware of the most famous living fossil,Pandora Bracelets Australia 461, the coelacanth, the fish thought to

  17. Mon fils serait le seul à tirer le meilleur parti de UD7 examen de la carte mèreSuspect 3: Homme de race noire, 5’10 6’0 “de hauteur environ 160 livres, portait des jeans qui avaient déchiré / usure sections et une longue chemise sombre top.Suspect 4: Un homme Biglerville reconnu coupable d’agressions sexuelles répétées d’un mineur jeune fille a été condamné jeudi à jusqu’à 30 ans de prison de l’Etat. Van Arsdale, 37 ans, a ét&#233

  18. Paris Fashion Week Bene , cerchiamo di accontentarsi di un bicchiere di champagne e guardare le persone fantastiche entrano Chez Castel vecchio di decenni decadente Parigi club dove le pareti potrebbero essere in grado di parlare .Moncler stata brinda molte cose in questa stagione , ma vale a dire l’apertura del suo espanso boutique di Rue du Faubourg St -Honor , e un nuovo design di occhiali da sole per Moncler Lunettes dal performer poliedrico Pharrell Williams . Essi sono in realt molto bello, il frontale della montatura , comprese le lenti , tagliato in un unico pezzo di materiale trasparente cos che il design eccezionalmente pulito .La cena stata sviluppa su tre piani , quindi era difficile vedere tutti, anche se tutti voluto essere sul pavimento dove il signor Williams stato , che stato il secondo ( o terzo se siete Americano) . Le persone stavano parlando di grandi spettacoli e l’intrigo moda del giorno ,tra cui Alexander Wang a Balenciaga . Manuel Puig della fragranza e della moda conglomerato veniva congratulato con il debutto calorosamente ricevuta di Julien Dossena a Paco Rabanne , un marchio che non ha avuto un momento di moda nei secoli , come i fratelli Brant beatifica ,uno che indossa quello che sembrava essere la giacca bianca di un capitano di nave da crociera , spazzato per congratularmi con Alexia Niedzielski , editore di una rivista , di essere bella . Anna Dello Russo arrivato indossa un top puro inciso con la pelliccia rasata e una gonna di un trilione gumball dimensioni cristalli, Guarda No. 42 della scorsa settimana Fendi spettacolo e uno che diversi redattori , in quanto la momento in cui apparso sulla pista , era stata indovinare quanto tempo avrebbe preso prima che lo videro sulla signora Dello Russo . ( E ‘stato sette giorni. )Poi l’ amuse – bouche ha cominciato a sbarcare sui tavoli , ed erano particolarmente divertente .
    moncler italia http://www.awakeningcolumbia.com/moncler

  19. Giacche outdoor all’ingrosso è un’altra opzione di acquistare queste giacche per il commercio all’ingrosso . Se uno ha bisogno di acquistare giacche a livello wholesale , allora il modo migliore è di acquistare utilizzando giacca all’ingrosso vendita all’aperto da negozi online è il modo migliore per acquistarli . ? Annunciare speciale Dicembre
    moncler uomo http://www.acasaconarte.it/moncler-italia

  20. Inoltre dico introduzione antica delle collezioni , molte altre attività in una certa misura , c’è poco introduzione del reddito nulla , ma aiutare l’accumulazione di ricchezza . Non tener conto di questo aspetto , non è possibile dal punto di vista del reddito . crescita trovare il punto di accumulazione di ricchezza di equilibrio Nella seconda sezione , abbiamo notato un importante contare su uscite beni come accumulazione di ricchezza di magazzino, la ricchezza aumenta Spider Man costume non può superare i risultati attesi tetto di reddito di scontato, anche se la gente a volte eccessivamente ottimista per il futuro guadagni o valore locativo della prevista sovrastimato . non importa quanto in alto l’aumento della ricchezza è stato aumentato da vincoli di attività a reddito . Tuttavia, non c’è magazzino riscossione delle entrate a , aumenta la ricchezza , non c’è tale reddito . ? Giacche Spyder tipici 2012
    moncler http://www.awakeningcolumbia.com/moncler

  21. in terms of fitand organicliving tlisted here are five essential keys which need to be achieved so as to live your ultimate fitand fit lifestyle. for many of the people,chanel eyewear, they will only keep in mind of a few of these keys, however it signifies that they are constantly finding one way to fill an opening within the ir lives, they’re never truly complete as anythingalmethodsseems to be missing. the skinnyg that’s missing is a number of of the five keys to fitnessand healthsuccess, yet

  22. I drop a leave a response when I appreciate a post on a site or if I have something to add tto the conversation.

    Usually it’s triggered by the passion communicated in the artile I read.
    And after this article SF to Loose Historic Candlestick Park with 49er Move to
    Santa Clara. I was moved enough to drop a thought :-P I doo
    have a feew questions for you if it’s okay. Is it only me or do some of
    these comments appear lie they are written by brain dead folks?
    :-P And, if you are posting at addiutional onlie social sites, I’d like to keeep
    up wih anything fresh you have to post. Could yyou llist every one of your
    public sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  23. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks
    jordan amman http://www.stiefelgeiss.ch/stuff/nikefree.cfm?p=jordan-amman.html

  24. They should also teach you on the skills that you need
    to have to effectively market your website. You can think of
    your logo of your website for your color scheme or you can choose two or three
    complimentary colors. We believe to serve excellence products with dependability and the consistency for website designing and web application development.

  25. Comme et quand il est nécessaire de concevoir vos cartes de visite sur votre propre, un bon utilitaire est ce qui vient à l’esprit. Outil de conception est très utile dans l’impression de cartes de bonne qualité pour être utilisé à des fins diverses. Un grand nombre d’outils efficaces sont facilement disponibles sur le marché qui permettent aux utilisateurs de choisir leurs favoris à partir d’une variété de modèles et ainsi offrent de nombreuses images ou des éléments graphiques afin que vous puissiez utiliser de manière créative des idées et créer vos propres dessins à la recherche étonnantes. Vous pouvez soit prendre les services de designers professionnels ou si vous souhaitez créer des motifs sur votre propre alors de chercher une application sur l’Internet serait une chose sage à faire.
    Bogner Veste http://bognerveste.kencoleman.net/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>