Two major structures in San Francisco are being dismantled. The first one is the old Bay Bridge. The other is a place that is very dear to my heart, where many memories have been made, which I’ll share below. If you haven’t already guessed, the place I speak of is Candlestick Park.
Just this week, demolition was underway on the renowned stadium. Upon hearing this news, a somber feeling came over me. It’s as if an old friend died. I stood still as I watched on TV the cranes meticulously break the stadium down. I was in slight denial that this was happening. I thought that they were gonna keep it for a future Olympics or something. Obviously, I was wrong.
Since hearing this breaking news, I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the times I was there. To be honest, I believe I visited Candlestick Park less than two dozen times. Most visits were because of work. I was fortunate enough to work a few seasons as a brand ambassador for Visa Signature during Niners’ games, in which we watched the games after. However, I did not work the final season.
On the flipside, many firsts took place at this beloved stadium. Thanks to my friend, Jeremy V.’s dad, my first MLB baseball game was at Candlestick Park, where the San Francisco Giants played the Pittsburgh Pirates. I received a signed baseball, which I still have. I don’t remember much about that game. That was the first and last time I attended a baseball game at that stadium.
The next time I returned to the venue over a decade later was another first. I was lucky enough to attend, from what I believe, the only rave held at what was then called 3Com Park. After Googling it, the rave called Metropolis was a spectacle to behold. I recall sitting in the stands watching the masses on the field move to the music. It was truly a memorable event in what I consider the Golden Age of raving.
What was even more memorable is how we got in. A few friends, strangers and I shimmied ourselves up one of the diagonal support beams that held up the stadium. From what I recall, it was maybe three or four stories high, and upon reaching the top, we had to carefully climb over the ledge. One mistake could’ve been fatal. Oh, to be young and fearless. What was hilarious is when we successfully entered the stadium, a security guard was roaming around. When he saw our group, he just shook his head and told us to scat. Good times!
And to keep it going, every memory I had at this location was good. The next great one was my first NFL football game, which was my exact birthday, where the San Francisco 49ers played SOME TEAM. I was decked out in a Niner jersey and leather jacket, courtesy of my cousin, Mike P. My then girlfriend and I did have nosebleed seats, but luckily I brought my binoculars.
Since being born, I was able to visit The ‘Stick every time it was renamed, each time a different event occurred and each time, memories were made. Here’s to what will forever be called in my book – Candlestick Park!
Please feel free to share your memories at Candlestick Park in the comments below.