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Pac Bell Ballpark

Unfinished History

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Mat Callahan, former longshore worker and cabbie, talks about the history of the waterfront as he drives through Mission Bay along 3rd Street, crossing the 3rd Street Bridge and turning onto Berry Street to get to the Embarcadero, continuing on to beneath the Bay Bridge, in 1997! Before the ballpark had even begun demolition...

Video by Chris Carlsson

by Travis Duncan

During the fall of 1996, an initiative was on the ballot introducing a new stadium to be located in the China Basin/South Beach part of the city. Coming with a price tag of $357 million the new stadium dwarfed the price of Candlestick ($15 million). Voters in SF, Santa Clara and San Jose all rejected measures to help finance the construction of a new stadium, likely recalling the controversy surrounding Candlestick Park. The new owner, Peter Magowan, bought the team with the hope of keeping the team in SF; eventually finding a way to finance construction privately – the first since the Dodgers Stadium opened in 1962.

As part of the financing of the new stadium, the Giants did receive a $10 million tax abatement, and $80 million worth of infrastructures upgrades were installed by the city to serve the new stadium. This is included the 280N ramp that landed adjacent to the stadium, as well as extending MUNI train lines to the front door of the stadium.

Construction of the new stadium began on December 11, 1997, and opened for play on April 11, 2000. The stadium opened as Pac Bell Park in 2000, but was renamed SBC Park in 2004 and then to AT&T Park in 2006.

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Pacific Bell Park, which should have been called "Willie Mays Field," the new home of the Giants.

The hated L.A. Dodgers swept the Giants in the opening 3 games at Pacific Bell Park (April 12-14, 2000). Home runs to right field could now land in the water.

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Giants and Dodgers maintain their rivalry, this being an August 12, 2009 game between them.


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Cy Young repeat winner Tim Lincecum pitches against the Dodgers in this August 2009 game while a tall sailing ship passes behind the right field arcade in McCovey Cove, which used to be better known as Mission Creek.


photos and text by Chris Carlsson

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In this 1999 aerial shot you can see the ballpark at upper right still being finished, with the new offramps from I-280 to King Street, but hardly any of the booming development that would follow.

Photo: Chris Carlsson


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