Behind-the-scenes: Saying farewell to 'The Stick'

SAN FRANCISCO

Fans and players have both loved and hated the place through six decades and on Tuesday, the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department threw open the doors allowing one last look behind the scenes.

Think of it, perhaps, as a museum in the making -- one that won't be there for long. Look fast or forever hold your peace. Or maybe buy a seat if you have the money. They're for sale -- $649 for a pair.

Rust and all, "The Stick" will be an active NFL home until Monday night, just way dated, from the showers to the training tables.

The city and team allowed reporters to snoop around Tuesday. They came expecting sentiment but from General Manager Mike Gay, that's not exactly what they got. "Better to have it imploded than just sit around, let the weeds grow and let it get deteriorated," he said.

When The Stick opened in 1960, it was a modern marvel and home to the Giants. Immediately, it earned a reputation for wicked whipping winds and foul weather, as fans wore overcoats even in summer. Most people never knew that beneath the concrete, the seats were supposed heated.

"Steam heat," Head Groundskeeper Roger Revel said. But it didn't work. "They were buried too deep in the concrete to be of much use," he said.

So now they tell us.

But in retrospect, fans have warm feelings about the place -- Candlestick Park, a centerpiece for more than half a century, and one final act on Monday night.

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