SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department hosted the Farewell to Candlestick Community Day, a free event that gave San Franciscans an opportunity to bid farewell to the iconic stadium on Sunday, August 3rd after more than five decades of its establishment. More than 12,000 people came out to celebrate at the event. The event included carnival rides, food trucks, field activities, stadium tours and photo opportunities with former players of both the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. Community Day was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and Zynga.org, with America SCORES Bay Area, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Lennar Urban, Coca-Cola, the San Francisco Chronicle, and KNBR, all supporting the entire series Candlestick Farewell events.
In April, 2014, SF Rec and Park announced “the Last Summer at the Stick” event series celebrating the history of Candlestick Park Stadium, also known as the “Stick”. The series features Sir Paul McCartney performing at the Stadium on August 14th, which will be the last public event at the Stick, and will conclude 54 years of Candlestick Park Stadium establishment. The concert will be hosted in partnership with Another Planet Entertainment. The Beatles performed their final full concert at Candlestick Park Stadium on August 29, 1966.
In addition, the historic orange and red seats from the former home of the San Francisco Giants (1960-1999) and of the San Francisco 49ers (1971-2014) are on sale. Each pair of seats will be removed from Candlestick Park and be shipped with brackets to allow the seats to be free standing. Proceeds from the sale of the Stadium Seats benefit the SF Recreation and Park’s Scholarship Fund providing recreation programming to all children and families in San Francisco. For more information about the seat sales, please visit: http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/fan_forum/candlestick_memories.jsp.
After the series of celebration, SF Rec and Park will be working with the Mayor’s Office and the developer to transfer the Stadium to Lennar Development at the end of 2014, then Lennar Development can move forward with decommissioning the Stadium and beginning the development project.
“We are proud to host this community day where all San Franciscans can come and celebrate the history of Candlestick Park Stadium,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “As much as we are inspired by all the historic moments and heartening stories took place at the Stick, we also look forward to a new generation that will enjoy this open space in a brand new way.”
The 14.5-acre Candlestick Park Stadium was built in 1960 and expanded in 1969 to seat 62,000 during football games and 59,000 during baseball games. Seating capacity has since been expanded to 70,000 for football. There are two decks and four seating areas. The main scoreboard in left field is, well, very big, and also has a Sony JumboTron stadium television set that serves any number of useful purposes. Auxiliary scoreboards are on the edging of the right-field upper deck. Improvements have been made for the hearing-impaired, and all restrooms are now wheelchair-accessible.
Candlestick captured the world’s attention when a powerful earthquake struck northern California just before the start of game three of the 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland As. Despite the immediate loss of electrical power, stadium officials reacted quickly to avoid panic among the 65,000 spectators in attendance, and no one at the park was injured as a direct result of the quake. Possibly because the stadium had been undergoing earthquake-proofing since 1983, there was no serious damage to its foundation. Cracked expansion joints and bleacher stairs were repaired by teams working around the clock, and the Stadium was pronounced structurally sound and the Series continued.