Home of the San Francisco Forty Niners and the former home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, Candlestick Park is the only stadium in the country to have hosted six NFC Championship Games, three Western Division Championships, 12 NFC West Conference Games, two World Series, and two All-star games.
The history behind the original name of Candlestick Park was quite colorful. Candlestick Point and the cove in its embrace were named long ago after the indigenous candlestick bird. A member of the curlew family, the candlestick is a wading bird with long, thin legs and a body about the size of a chicken, according to nationally known ornithologist Henry L. Betten. At one time thousands of these birds inhabited the Bay Area, but they were nearly hunted to extinction by the 1950s due toothe enormous demand for their delicate and delicious meat.
Candlestick originally was constructed by Charles Harney, General Contractor in 1958. The first game at Candlestick Point was played on April 12, 1960, between the Giants and St. Louis. The then-near-capacity crowd of 42,269 watched the Giants beat the Cardinals 3 – 2. In November 1969 the stadium, which spans 14.5 acres on an 83-acre site, was expanded by General Contractor William and Burrows to seat 62,000 during football games and 59,000 during baseball games, becoming one of the first modern multipurpose stadiums. In order to keep its facilities and services up to date, Candlestick Park undergoes annual renovations each spring. The next renovation phase will increase seating capacity to 71,000. Phones for the hearing impaired have been installed, all restrooms are now wheelchair accessible, and the concourses were recently enlarged.
The Stadium has six escalators, three passenger elevators, and one freight elevator. At one time its escalators were considered the longest in the country. There are four locker rooms, two first-aid stations, 2,000 locks, and 44 concession stands. Parking capacity is an ample 8,000 cars, 300 buses, 200 limousines, and 300 motorhomes.
Brilliant lighting for night events is supplied by nine 140 to 240 foot towers, providing more than 350 foot-candles of light on the arena surface. It is considered to be the best-lighted stadium in the United States, literally turning night into day and exceeding the requirements of color television cameras. A new, state-of-the-art Sony video display board was installed in January 1994.