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Stadium that hosted the Beatles' last live concert set to close after half-century of hosting

BY SUDHIN THANAWALA SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Candlestick Park, San Francisco's cold and windy workhorse stadium, is closing after more than a half-century of hosting sports, concerts and other events. Over the years, the park was home field for the Giants and 49ers and the site of some of their greatest triumphs.

But the "Stick" was also a fierce place, where whipping winds and fog from San Francisco Bay often made for chilly conditions for fans and players. The city-owned stadium is now set to be demolished for a planned housing, retail and entertainment development. Here are 10 defining moments in its history:


- Richard Nixon was vice president. Willie Mays was a Giants slugger. Both were on hand for Candlestick's opening day April 12, 1960, with Nixon throwing out the first pitch. The reinforced concrete stadium was built for the Giants, who had moved from New York two years earlier and initially played at Seals Stadium.


- The Beatles held their last live concert at Candlestick in 1966. Paul McCartney apologized to the crowd for the weather, noting it was "a bit chilly."


- Giants centerfielder Willie Mays joined an elite list of players with his 3,000th hit in 1970. Mays finished his career with 660 home runs, fourth on the all-time list, behind Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.


- Quarterback Joe Montana lofted a touchdown to Dwight Clark to win the NFC championship game in January 1982 and send the 49ers to their first Super Bowl. The 49ers won that year's NFL title and four more through 1995.


- Pope John Paul II held a mass in 1987 for more than 70,000 people.


- The 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake hit as millions of TV viewers took in Game 3 of the "Bay Bridge World Series" between the Oakland Athletics and the Giants in 1989. The quake caused up to $10 billion in damage, but the park sustained only minor damage. After a 10-day postponement, the Athletics finished a sweep of the Giants.


- 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice caught two touchdown passes from Steve Young during a 1994 game to break Jim Brown's long-held record of 126 career touchdowns.


- In the early 1990s, the Giants appeared set to move to Florida. But an ownership group committed to keeping the team in San Francisco persuaded voters to approve a new, largely privately funded park. The Giants played their last game at Candlestick in September 1999 and moved into what's now called AT&T Park the following season.


- Despite multiple renovations, Candlestick's age began to show. The 49ers complained about rusty light towers, clogged concession stand drains and other maintenance problems. Unable to reach a deal on a new stadium in San Francisco, the team looked 45 miles south to Santa Clara, where the team will play in the new Levi's Stadium in Silicon Valley starting this year.


- Nearly 50 years after the Beatles' last live concert, Paul McCartney will take the stage for Candlestick's final event. His "Farewell to Candlestick Park!" performance is scheduled for August 14.

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klassikars August 11 2014 at 9:03 AM

So you trade off a venerable historic structure which generations have known and loved for what?? Something new and which will also have plenty of maintenance issues due to the fact it won't be built as well as this stadium was.

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vanvorous klassikars August 11 2014 at 1:47 PM

Meh, parking and access off 101 to same was, is and always will be a PITA at the 'stick. Given that the giants are at their own park now its not like it was regularly used during the summer either.

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Bob August 11 2014 at 10:47 AM

It is just a building. So, they are tearing it down to put in something else. Doesn't mean those things that happened there didn't happen. We are just moving on with our lives. Why do people have such a problem with change?

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katydid579 August 11 2014 at 9:28 AM

The Beatles last live performance was on the roof of the Apple Studios in London on January 30, 1969.

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Mom and Dad August 11 2014 at 3:53 AM

I was there in 1960. Kids don't care about the wind. It was amazing.

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chiefufo Mom and Dad August 11 2014 at 6:03 PM

Yes the memories ! Willie Mays was the best, most Dodger fans respected and liked Willie Mays.

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Steve Silva August 11 2014 at 7:37 AM

Mays, Marichal, McCovey, Perry, Montana, Rice, and the Beatles. Not bad.

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redletter2008 August 11 2014 at 4:39 PM

The "Stick" is a dump and should have been closed years ago. Even when brand new, this place was ugly and oddly proportioned. Football games took place with enormous open spaces between the field and the stands. They could have had the Beatles playing a show in one of those gaps, while the Giants played at one end and the 49ers at the other end. Good riddance!

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djparker August 11 2014 at 3:07 PM

I used to disapprove of low income housing until I woke up one morning and found that I now qualify for it. Thanks to all the greedy/inept politicians in this country. I liked the 9ers at Kezar. John Brodie, Ken Willard, etc.

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dj446688 djparker August 11 2014 at 3:16 PM

Kind of like Candlestick right?

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Judith August 11 2014 at 5:33 PM

Is there no sense of history in this country any more? I saw in another article that the gym where Joe Louis worked out is set to be demolished. Yes, I know, they're just structures that have supposedly passed their prime, but we're talking historic landmarks here.

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2 replies
allini Judith August 11 2014 at 8:20 PM

Judith: Did you ever go to Candlestick? It will NOT be missed.

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planeman10 Judith August 11 2014 at 10:14 PM

Answer: No, there is not.

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allini August 11 2014 at 5:58 PM

This was easily the worst stadium ever built. The wind off the bay was awful. The stadium inside barely had space for people in the asiles. The parking lot was full of glass and junk. There was usually only ONE exit for cars.

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imhxn August 11 2014 at 4:41 PM

'candlestick' what an iconic name for a San Francisco stadium !!!

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