Tuesday, December 24, 2013

49ers, Candlestick Park leave Bayview

"The Stick," photographed from Silver Terrace, December 22nd, 2013.

The San Francisco 49ers football team is not just leaving San Francisco for new digs in Santa Clara, it's leaving the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.

Folks in Bayview have loudly and colorfully loved their team since the 49ers put down roots at Candlestick in 1960. 

But that and the City's attempt to redevelop the Candlestick site around a new 49ers stadium weren't enough to keep the team from sliding south.  Bayview's 49ers fandom is sure to suffer.

On Sunday, Ken Butler was looking forward to Monday Night Football and the last time the 49ers would play Candlestick.  Ken lives across from the Bridgeview Garden, where the stadium has been part of the view since it was built.

"Going to games has been a family tradition," he said.  "We've had tickets for 20 years."

If Bayview's love affair with the 49ers isn't ending, it is on the rocks.  

Renderings of new Candlestick development: Lennar Urban.
The Butler family isn't buying seats at the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.  They're too expensive.  And the luxury of passing the line of cars while walking back from a game can't be replaced.

Locals who have worked at Candlestick have been told they would have to reapply for their jobs, and that those jobs would pay less since San Francisco's minimum wage is higher than Santa Clara's.

Some heavy machinery to clear the site after the old stadium is demolished in February is already in place.  Plans for a new mixed use development are in place too.  And the reshaping of San Francisco's southeast corner continues.

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