Once the home field of the San Francisco Giants, a professional baseball team, Candlestick Park is now the stadium of the San Francisco 49ers, the city's NFL team. This park has been the home of the 49ers since 1971, but that may change soon, as a new stadium is currently being planned. Candlestick Park, known to fans as "The Stick'' is located at Candlestick Point, which is directly on the bay. Because of this location, Candlestick Park is considered one of the most difficult places to play, as bay winds affect how the ball travels while being thrown and kicked.
Candlestick Park was officially opened in 1960, and the name comes from a contest the city ran for fans. Along with being the home of the Giants, this was also the site of the 1961 Oakland Raiders season and the last live concert the Beatles ever played commercially.
As of today, Candlestick Park is the only NFL stadium to have its beginnings as a baseball facility. Because of this, there are some seating problems for fans. For example, the upper deck somewhat obstructs part of the view for the seats below. A 1970s design renovation that was meant to add more upper-level seating also destroyed the view of the Bay and, although it reduced wind speeds, the wind now swirls and is more unpredictable. Baseball fans frequently criticized the park as much as NFL fans, due to the fact that the seats were far from the field and the foul territory was bigger than normal. The Giants still played at this stadium until 2000, when they moved to South Beach's AT&T Park.
The stadium currently seats over 70,000 fans and originally cost $24.6 million to build. The stadium sits on an 82-acre site and employs over 1500 people on game days. The field was artificial from 1972 to 1979, but at that point, it was returned to its natural state. The sod is replaced every year, and it is sometimes also replaced mid-season, depending on the weather. It is a common misconception that the field is below sea level, but in actuality, it is almost 14 feet above sea level.
Along with regular seats, there are a number of luxury suites available for fans who want to watch the game from a more comfortable location. Each suite has glass windows that can be opened or closed according to the viewers' preferences. They also have televisions that show all of the other games happening at that time, and season suite tickets come with a number of benefits, including a 15% discount on merchandise, VIP parking, the option to purchase tickets to post-season games, complimentary programs and roster cards, giveaways, and 49ers alumni and cheerleaders visits. Suites fit eight to twenty-seven fans.
There are a limited number of games remaining at Candlestick Park, since the 49ers will be moving to a new stadium sometime after 2011. Fans interested in tickets to a game or other events can call 415-656-4900 or 408-562-4949. They can also give fans more information about setting up a tour of the facility.