Monster Park

From Academic Kids

Monster Park
The Stick
Facility Statistics
Location602 Jamestown Avenue
San Francisco, California 94124
Broke Ground1958
OpenedApril 12, 1960
OwnerThe City of San Francisco
Construction Cost$15 million USD
ArchitectJohn Bolles
Former Names
Candlestick Park1960-1995
3Com Park1995-2002
San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point2002-2004
San Francisco Giants1960-2000
Oakland Raiders1961
San Francisco 49ers1971-present
Seating Capacity
1995 full capacity70,207
1993 Football69,843
1993 Baseball58,000
1989 Baseball62,000
1972 Baseball58,000
1965 Baseball42,500
1960 Baseball43,765
1960 according to sources at the time
Left Field335 ft
Left-Center397 ft
Center Field420 ft
Right-Center397 ft
Right Field335 ft
Backstop65 ft
Left Field335 ft
Left-Center365 ft
Center Field410 ft
Right-Center375 ft
Right Field335 ft
Left Field335 ft
Left-Center365 ft
Center Field410 ft
Right-Center375 ft
Right Field330 ft
Left Field335 ft
Left-Center365 ft
Center Field400 ft
Right-Center365 ft
Right Field328 ft

Monster Park (colloquially, The 'Stick, after its original name of Candlestick Park) is an outdoor sports and entertainment stadium located in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

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.

Park history

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 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.

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 blown off the mound – and called for a balk for his troubles. Two years later, a gust of wind picked up the entire batting cage and dropped it 60 feet away on the pitchers mound while the New York Mets were taking batting practice.

The Beatles performed their last live concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966.

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.

On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake (measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale) struck San Francisco, minutes before Game 3 of the World Series was to begin. 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.

Name changes

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.

At the height of the dot-com craze of the late 1990s the rights to the arena name were licensed to 3Com Corporation, and from 1995 until 2002 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.

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 still read "3Com Park" and reportedly would not be changed until a new sponsor was found.

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.

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