Tonight ends one of the worst swindles in the history of San Francisco.
I lived through all of it and remember…Charles Haney, a contractor, bought the worst piece of land in San Francisco at Hunter’s Point; conspired with Mayor George Christopher to privately build a stadium to bypass the voters; secretly made a deal with the City who bought back the land at ten times the price, paid Haney exorbitant fees to grade and prepare the stadium, and thus Candlestick Park came about.
It was built in the coldest part of the city, with the promise that a unique piped water heating system would keep the seats warm (it didn’t) and would be the greatest stadium in the country (it wasn’t).
The field was below sea level and never drained properly….hard to get to, parking terrible, and just an unholy sports venue.
Freezing in the summer for baseball; San Francisco suffered the embarrassment of the whole country seeing Giant pitcher Stu Miller blown off the mound during the All Star game.
Just a terrible cement edifice.
The only good thing? Ann Calvello in later years dolled up, and was a ticket taker at one of the gates for the 49ers.
So this dreadful place is gone….lucky they had the great 49ers playing there, and for those of us who remember the World Series of 1962 the games were cancelled for days because of heavy rain and a field that wouldn’t drain…..and the bad luck continued in 1989 when the earthquake stopped the World Series and of course last year when the electricity and lights failed during a Monday night game.
And San Francisco losing the Niners? they are moving 40 miles down 101 to a great venue with great parking and access in warm Santa Clara.
And here is something the newspapers and media didn’t want you to know (and of course I did, being in the ticket biz): the majority of fans were from the South Bay anyway.
I saw a lot of football (and some baseball) at the ‘stick. The best thing: two Rolling Stone Concerts about 25 years ago.
Stop the nostalgia….it was a terrible place.