The 49ers are gone. Out of San Francisco. They may as well be called the Santa Clara 49ers now. They’ve got a shiny, high-tech wonderland to play in, where the focus seems to be on everything but the game. Fans are literally dying in the heat, traffic is worse than ever, and the 49ers are off to a grim start in the new digs.
In late 2014, I had the opportunity to photograph good old Candlestick Park in detail during the early stages of light demolition work. From the dark depths of the musky under passages to the soaring sky-high press box, and from the cramped locker rooms to the cold secret jail cells, I got it all. In a few decades, who knows–the whole collection might be interesting to someone. I’ll just tuck the photos away until then.
For me, it was my final goodbye to the battlegrounds of legends that I grew up idolizing. Candlestick was my choice destination on many a Sunday afternoon from the early 1980s to 2013 (and a few lucky Monday night games where I snuck out of school early to head to the Stick). Of course our Giants abandoned the crumbling, moss-covered structure years ago, and I don’t really miss the Stick from a baseball perspective. They’re in a better place now.
A month after my photo spree of the empty Stick, I sent my drone skyward for one final peek inside. It looks like there are quite a few seats left (you can buy a pair for your man cave). The nearly-dead turf has sprung back to life from the recent downpours. I interweaved a few of my 1000+ photos of the empty complex with the drone’s eye view: