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Candlestick Park is slated for demolition by implosion in early 2014, possibly just weeks after the 49ers play their final game in San Francisco. What I am about to suggest will not save the 53 year old venue, but will instead delay the inevitable, and make history in the process.
Here it is: Candlestick Park should be saved just three months longer, until March 2014, so that its original tenant, the San Francisco Giants, can play one last game there.
Why would this interest the Giants?
As evidenced by the past the seasons, San Francisco's baseball franchise is really good at hosting parties and celebrations. This would most certainly be a high-profile, nationally recognized event with overwhelming opportunities to celebrate the history of the team. In addition, consider the shirts, hats, pins and patches that could be created with a commemorative logo featuring "The Stick"… which would sell like hotcakes. Guaranteed.
Won't there be logistical hurdles?
Yes. Probably many. The stadium has not hosted baseball since 1999 and transitioning everything back for one day/night will present numerous challenges. It's far more than just cutting out a dirt infield, and re-installing the fences. Which is why I suggest keeping things simple, and expectations low. Play the A's in this exhibition game, so that each team can use its own "home" clubhouse pre- and postgame while travelling separately to Candlestick for the contest. Have the concession stands sell only hot dogs, hamburgers, peanuts, water, beer and soda. Yes, fans will have to suffer without Cha-Cha bowls for one night, but therein lies the charm of this trip back in time.
Is all this really worth it?
It's amazing to think that a Giants fan who is enjoying his/her first legal drink this summer, may not be old enough to remember the team playing at the old venue. This is an opportunity for a history lesson, for young and old. To have a guaranteed sellout of 58,000+ fans back in the team's old home for 39 years would be extremely sentimental, and let's face it… the clock is ticking down fast, and the window to make this happen is small.
Has this ever been done before?
Hate to tell you this, but, yes. The Dodgers hosted the Red Sox at the 90-year old LA Coliseum back in 2008 for an exhibition contest. Facing a lot of the same planning challenges, the "home" team pulled it off without a hitch in what was considered a huge success in Southern California. And while some may view this as the Giants "copying" their rivals, one can only hope that is the case. Los Angeles set an attendance record, drawing 115,300 fans.
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