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Candlestick Park

Candlestick Park (colloquially, The 'Stick) is an outdoor sports and entertainment arena located in the San Francisco Bay Area. 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 is now officially known as San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point.

The city of San Francisco is reportedly looking for a new naming sponsor but is having trouble finding one 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 won't be changed until a new sponsor is found.

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[?], once common but now highly endangered due to over-hunting.)

The arena is situated on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay. It can seat 70,207 people at full capacity after being expanded in 1995. 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 temporarily replaced by artificial turf.

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. 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. Richard Nixon threw out the first ever baseball on the opening day of Candlestick Park on April 12, 1960.

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



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