It’s sad to visit the site of the Beatles’ final concert on tour at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park 46 years ago today on Aug. 29, 1966. The site is hardly the crown jewel of the city it was when two professional sports teams played there.
And like many old venues, it could be destined for the wrecking ball.
Since the time of the Beatles show in 1966, the park, which opened in 1960, has been home to two professional sports teams, the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. Only the 49ers remain.
The Giants abandoned the weather unfriendly location in 2000 for their current site, AT&T Park. Baseball fans expecting warm weather often experienced late afternoon cold breezes even in the middle of summer.
And the 49ers, who have been playing there since 1971, are also working on a plan to leave the stadium and move to nearby Santa Clara in 2014. The future does not look good for the venue.
The park has been the scene of some historic events since it opened in 1960. In baseball, it has hosted two All-Star Games in 1961 and 1984, one National League Division Series in 1997, three National League Championship Series in 1971, 1987 and 1989 and two World Series in 1962 and 1989.
Game 3 of the 1989 World Series was the one millions of TV viewers saw interrupted by an earthquake just before the game began. We were in the stadium waiting for the game to start when the earthquake hit. Talk about a heart-stopping moment.
In football, it was also the site of six NFC Championship games, including Dwight Clark’s famous touchdown catch in 1982 that got the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl.
The Beatles played their usual set from the rest of the tour: “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music,” “She’s a Woman,” “If I Needed Someone,” “Day Tripper,” “Baby’s In Black,” “If I Fell,” “Yesterday,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Nowhere Man,” “Paperback Writer” and “Long Tall Sally.”
A crowd of 25,000 attended the show. Press officer Tony Barrow recorded the show for posterity. The recording has been bootlegged and is quite listenable. .
Today, however, there are few external reminders of the historic occasion. No signs outside mention it. The Giants held a ceremony during a game one night to remember the occasion. The event featured an on-field concert from a Beatles tribute group with their stage set up on second base, where the Beatles’ originally was.
In the past, visitors were able to walk into the stadium and view the field where the Beatles once played even when no one was playing. Today, the whole area is fenced off and inaccessible to the public when no 49er game is being played. The parking lot, never in the greatest of shape, has deteriorated and is full of potholes.
There have been no plans announced as to what will happen to the stadium after the 49ers leave. The Beatles’ concert there, though, will never be forgotten.