Demolition set for Candlestick

With the San Francisco 49ers getting a new stadium in Santa Clara, their old home of Candlestick Park will be imploded as soon as the 2013 NFL season is concluded, the San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this week. The site is currently set to become a multiuse mall-plus-housing complex, though developer Lennar Corp. hasn’t actually set a date for when it’ll build that.

Interestingly, the Chronicle adds, “There are also plans for a 3,000- to 4,000-seat arena that could accommodate small concerts, house the San Francisco Bulls ice hockey team and maybe even host pro women’s basketball.” That seems more speculative than anything — the Candlestick site is even harder to get to than the Bulls’ current home at the Cow Palace, and the WNBA hasn’t expanded in eons. Worth keeping an eye on, though.

In the meantime, the imminent demise of the Stick doesn’t seem to be causing too much grief among Bay Area fans — the best the Chronicle could come up with to say about the stadium is that “it hosted two World Series, The Catch and the Beatles‘ last concert,” which had me confused until I realized they meant this The Catch and not this one. Candlestick was by all accounts a decent (if hard-to-reach and windy) baseball stadium until it got closed in by additions for the 49ers in 1971, after which it was a not-that-satisfying hybrid of a baseball and football stadium. I’ll mostly remember it for the completely excellent buttons that the Giants gave out in the mid-’80s to fans who stayed till the end of an extra-inning game:

I tried for one in 1983 or so, but sadly the game didn’t go extra innings. Though given the usual translation of “vixi,” maybe it’s just as well.

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18 comments on “Demolition set for Candlestick

  1. A terrible stadium the moment the site was chosen and an even worse stadium today. It’s an poorly designed and poorly constructed eyesore that was probably the worst example of a stadium of its era. The Giants couldn’t leave fast enough and the Niners wanted out so bad they moved 45 miles away. And the fans, the fans tired of the interminable drive in decades ago, the slog through the mud parking lots, and the ever present chilling wind be it spring, summer, or fall.

    No one is going to miss this moldy, moss covered, monstrosity by the bay. Candlestick’s finest moment will be its last, when they blow it up.

  2. Candlestick might be unlamented but at least going to MLB games in the ‘80s was an affordable pastime. $3.50 would get you a decent upper deck seat (a beer was about $5) and that was important to me when I was just out of school (I would take CalTrain up the peninsula and hoof it the one mile to the stadium).

    No question Pac-Bell is a better experience, but no way would I been able or willing to spend the money that would enable me to attend a weekend series as I often did back then.

  3. My great uncle was on the 1912 Scott Expedition (part of the last group that turned away from the pole, in other words he didn’t die). I don’t have that claim to fame, but I did earn a couple Croix De Candlestick (hadn’t thought about them in years–now of course I’m wondering where they are).

  4. Candlestick was the worst stadium in all of sports. It needs to be nuked to oblivion so that disgrace can be gone.

  5. Fans tired of the ‘interminable drive’ to/from Candlestick should read the EIR for Candlestick’s replacement in Santa Clara. It will be no picnic getting to/from the stadium here, with no centralized parking lot, no direct freeway access, and EIR predictions of many intersections with a service level of F (gridlock).

  6. Every time I have driven to Candlestick for a football, soccer and concerts it has take me 2.5 hours to get out… so glad i can take light rail to the SC stadium. Or even go park at work which is 2 miles from the stadium. Either way will not be spending 2.5 hours no matter what the EIR says… lol

    Centralized parking like candlestick with one entrance and one exit is not a good idea spread people out over an area and you will get in and out much faster.

    Not saying its going to be 10 min but I am sure its not going to be 2.5 hours.

  7. Geuy,
    People keep mentioning light rail in Santa Clara as if it’s somehow the equal to B.A.R.T. It isn’t and won’t be. The system has the lowest ridership in the nation and doesn’t run that often. Like a restaurant, VTA is going to be unable/unwilling to ramp up their service for a few days a year (B.A.R.T. does run extra cars for big events). They have stated this–so don’t get your hopes up too high.


  8. SCJ:

    Your point on the costs of modern sport are well taken.
    Professional sport used to be entertainment for the masses. Admission was cheap. Food was often bad, but at least affordable.
    Sport today is targetted very much to the upper middle class and above.

    I’m sure Candlestick had it’s problems, but I defy anyone to find a worse “pro” facility than the old Vet. Any votes for Shea Stadium out there? Ever been to the old Municipal stadium in Cleveland, guys? How about War Memorial stadium in Buffalo? Now that was a dump…

    As sports stadia age, they need more maintenance and investment. What tenants (particularly those with leverage and the control of the operating contract) tend to do is reduce investment and delay maintenance at this point, leading to major problems for fans.

    It isn’t the inevitable degradation caused by time. It is manipulation of public opinion. And sports franchises are really good at it.

  9. VTA is not BART i know that… but non the less its an option to get to the stadium. Last time i checked BART does not got to candlestick either. My point is that i hate going to candlestick cause of the traffic to get out of the stadium, once out (on the freeway) traffic moves fairly quickly. 2.5 is the time it takes to get to the freeway, yes the freeway that runs next to candlestick. lol

    SC stadium gives me the option to take light rail which drops me off infront, or ACE Train which drops off 0.5 miles away, parking at my job which is 2 miles away and walking, Parking along montegue express way, 1 st , or zanker and walking. Any of these area can be accessed by city streets or 101, 880 or 237.

    I dont need to get my hopes up, I already know that its not going to take 2.5 hours to get out of the stadium lol… and i have not even mentioned actually parking near the stadium for a fee. My options above dont require paying for parking :)…

  10. Walking from your workplace will be the most realistic option. Lightrail will serve only a few people (and unlike BART there is not much parking where those lines terminate). Actually the best option might be to bicycle in if the stadium has attended bike parking.

  11. Light rail adjusted schedules to accommodate Sharks games- as did Caltrain- both are great options depending on where you are at- I take the LR to the Tank from Campbell and it is a 10 minute ride- and the trains are full but comfortable- traffic would take me at least 25- no doubt it will be one of many options to get to the ‘9ers new stadium- and as Guey says- centralized parking is a disaster- multiple lots spread around a stadium or arena Ida much better approach-

  12. SJ A’s below is from the City’s EIR, VTA appears to be saying that significant ramping up of service to them isn’t worth it unless others pay up. Additionally the Winchester line running from MV is the direct line serving the stadium site. Parking near downtown MV already isn’t easy.

    Comment E-12: 8. VTA would require a significant resource allocation for game day/special event operations. Additional vehicles, operators, transit field supervisors, security personnel, customer service ambassadors, fare inspectors, and maintenance staff would be needed. It is likely that fare revenues received from games and events would not cover our additional expenses, and this additional operating funding would need to be provided by third parties.

  13. All this bashing of! I’d like to see another game there myself next year before it is gone. On the other hand I will never step foot in the SC Stadium, no interest at all. I agree that the multi-purpose stadiums were not ideal for either Football or Baseball, but they served their purpose.and represent history,memories and a Focus on the actual game being played. Some of these new glitzy stadiums lack character, coupled with much higher ticket prices,overpriced concessions,luxury boxes,obtrusive(in some cases) jumbo trons and goofy fans, makes to me a substandard experience. So why bash the old stadiums on their way out?

  14. Well put Rob,

    I never thought I’d see SF Giants tickets priced about the same as SF Ballet or Opera tickets. Crazy.

  15. Point is that the SC stadium will have a couple of more Public transportation options than candlestick has for south bay fans. Probably will not be perfect but like i said its an option.

    I personally like candlestick and its “charm” but like anything else things get old and time to move on.

    But i have never liked the traffic of getting in and out thats one thing i will not miss!! lol…

  16. @ Rob, I’m with you…Of course Candlestick has it issues, the Stadium was built in 1960! But I don’t see the folks in Chicago, or Green Bay bashing their stadiums, & they are just as old as the Stick, if not older. But the Gray Lady could have been renovated, just like Green Bay, & Chicago stadiums have been, but of course the Yorks would not allow that.

    Personally I am gonna miss the old Gray Lady, lots & lots of good memories were made in that building…A Legendary Coach, Owner, and a NFL Dynasty were made at Candlestick. Not to mention other events that occurred there, like the Beatles last gig, and Pope John Paul even held Church in that Stadium. I just hope that the City does something to commemorate that “Candlestick Park once stood here, on Candlestick Point.”

    And Neil, Candlestick is not hard to get to, it sits right on Highway 101, but the problem is, there’s only a 2 way lane to get to the Stick. Now the new stadium in Santa Clara, that’s a horse of another color. Surface streets will be utilized until you reach the stadium, there will be traffic as far as the eye can see. I hope everyone who wanted the Stadium in the South Bay enjoys sitting in the flight path of the San Jose Airport, and the 20 minute walk, to & from the stadium to their cars, and no tailgating…

    Rob, like U I will never step in the SC Stadium, in fact after the 2013 season, I will not support the 49ers at all, and I have been a fan since 1969.

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