Candlestick Park (colloquially, The 'Stick) is an outdoor sports and
entertainment stadium located in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.
Through various naming rights deals with corporations, it has been called
3Com Park, and, most recently, Monster Park. Bay Area residents have
continually called it Candlestick regardless of what announcers and
sportswriters have been forced to call it.
Left Field - 330 ft
Left-Center - 397 ft
Center Field - 420 ft
Right-Center - 397 ft
Right Field - 330 ft
Backstop - 73 ft
Left Field - 335 ft
Left-Center - 365 ft
Center Field - 400 ft
Right-Center - 365 ft
Right Field - 335 ft
Backstop - 65 ft
Foul Territory - Very large
The stadium is situated on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay.
Due to its location next to a hill, strong winds often swirl down into the
stadium creating interesting playing conditions.
The surface of the field is natural bluegrass, but from 1971 to 1978 it
was replaced by artificial turf.
Mark Twain has been attributed as saying "The coldest winter I
ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." And that was
before the Giants resorted to giving out pins to fans who stayed until the
bitter (cold) end of an extra inning game (the pins, which were first
distributed during 1983, read "Vini, Vidi, Vixi" - "I came,
I saw, I survived"). Even in the summer, when it was 90 degrees just
35 miles south in San Jose, a jacket or even something heavier was often
needed at Candlestick.
As a baseball field, the stadium was best known for the windy
conditions that often made life difficult for outfielders trying to catch
fly balls. During the 1961 All Star game, Giants pitcher Stu Miller was
forced into a balk by a gust of wind that actually blew him off the mound
by the fierce winds. Two years later, wind picked up the entire batting
cage and dropped it 60 feet away on the pitcher’s mound while the New
York Mets were taking batting practice.
Ground was broken in 1958 as the new home of Major League Baseball's
San Francisco Giants, which was moving west from New York. The team played
in old Seals Stadium
until their new park was ready.
The Giants officially named their new stadium Candlestick Park on March
3, 1959. In 1971, the NFL's San Francisco 49ers became tenants as well.
Richard Nixon threw out the first ever baseball on the opening day of
Candlestick Park on April 12, 1960. The Oakland Raiders played their 1961
American Football League season at the stadium.
The Beatles performed their last live commercial concert at Candlestick
Park on August 29, 1966.
to Candlestick Park!
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The stadium was enclosed during the winter of 1971-1972 for the 49ers,
with stands built around the outfield. The result was that the wind speed
dropped marginally, but often swirled around throughout the stadium.
Candlestick Park has the distinction of being the sole remaining NFL
stadium that started life as a baseball only facility that later had a
football field added. Previous baseball parks that had been converted to
house football included parks such as Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and
Milwaukee County Stadium. This accounts for the stadium's odd oblong
design that leaves many seats on what was the right field side of the
stadium behind the eastern grandstand of the stadium during football
games. Candlestick also has the dubious distinction of being the last NFL
football stadium where upper deck supports obstruct the sightlines from
the prime first deck seating.
Although Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Barry Bonds played extensive
portions of their careers in Candlestick and six World Series games have
been played there, without a doubt the most memorable event for Giants
fans at Candlestick was on October 17, 1989 during game 3 of the 1989
World Series against Bay area rivals the Oakland A's. Just before the game
was to start, the "Loma
Prieta" earthquake (measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale) hit the
Bay Area. Amazingly, no one within the stadium was injured, but minor
structural damage did occur to the stadium. The World Series between the
Giants and Oakland Athletics was delayed for ten days as a result as the
overall structural soundness of the stadium (and of Oakland-Alameda
County Coliseum as well) was checked by engineers and the area was
allowed some time to recover.
In 1999, the Giants moved to a new downtown ballpark, Pacific
Bell Park, leaving the 49ers as the lone professional sports team to
use the stadium. The final baseball game pitted the Giants against their
arch-rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and occurred on an unseasonably hot
at CANDLESTICK PARK
Cardinals 1, Giants 3
Jocko Conlan, Augie Donatelli
Ken Burkhart, Ed Vargo
Bill Rigney, Giants
Solly Hemus, Cardinals
Sam Jones, Giants
Larry Jackson, Cardinals
San Francisco Mayor George
Christopher and Richard Nixon
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
Candlestick Park was named for Candlestick Point, a point of land
jutting into the San Francisco Bay. Candlestick Point is itself named for
the indigenous "candlestick bird" (Long-billed Curlew), once
common to the point.
The rights to the arena name were licensed to 3Com Corporation from
1995 until 2002. During that time the park became known as 3Com Park.
In 2002 the naming rights deal expired, and the park then became
officially known as San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point. On
September 28, 2004, a new naming rights deal was signed with Monster
Cable, a maker of cables for electronic equipment, and the stadium was
renamed Monster Park. Many people erroneously assume the Monster
Park name is associated with Monster.com. Executives at the latter are
doubtless happy with the misunderstanding while execs at the former might
have done well to insist on calling it Monster Cable Park.
The City of San Francisco had trouble finding a new naming sponsor due
in part to the downturn in the economy, but also because the stadium's
tenure as 3Com Park was tenuous at best. Many local fans were annoyed with
the change and continued referring to the park by its original name, and
many continue to do so to this day, regardless of the official name.
Freeway signs in the vicinity were recently changed to read "Monster
Park" as part of an overall signage upgrade to national standards on
A measure passed in the November 2, 2004 election states that the
stadium name will revert back to Candlestick permanently after the current
contract with Monster Cable expires in 2008. This highlights San
Francisco's extreme distaste for corporate naming, especially of this
particular venue. The stadium is still almost universally referred to as Candlestick
Park despite the name change by both locals and the media. The Monster
Park moniker is confined to the 49ers front office and a few national
broadcasters just as the 3Com name was years before.
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