SBC Park, formerly known as Pacific Bell Park
prior to Pacific Bell
's purchase by SBC
Communications in 2003
, is home of baseball
's San Francisco Giants
. The 40,900-seat baseball-only venue was opened in 2000
to replace Candlestick Park
as the Giants' home, and is best known for the fact that home run
s hit over the right field stands land in the San Francisco Bay
. The park has the least foul ground and the shortest right field
line in the game (Barry Bonds
is left-handed. Coincidence? I think not).
One cool thing about SBC Park is that whereas Candlestick used to be bitterly cold because of winds sweeping in off the bay, the new park was designed taking into account a study of wind patterns so that most of the wind now hits the backside of the ballpark, shielding the fans and the field. Although it can still get pretty cold, things are much better without the wind.
While many people consider SBC Park to be a very beautiful place to watch a ballgame, it does have its downsides. Although the ballpark was designed to recall the asymetrical parks of the past, there are some hideous modern touches, such as a giant coke bottle and huge fiberglass baseball glove in left field, and the increasingly common children's playground (why pay so much not to watch the game?).
SBC Park is also horribly expensive - one of the highest priced ballparks in the majors. The worst bleacher seats cost $12 and parking is $30. Food and beer are just as bad. These prices and the small number of seats make it very hard to get a ticket and have driven away all the rowdy Giants fans who used to show up and Candlestick, replacing them with quiet, demure rich people on cell phones who have no heart and don't seem to know as much about the game. I miss those old fans.
Also, the park is in a very run-down neighborhood, which makes you leery to bring the kids at night. From most seats the view of the bay doesn't show anything cool, like the two bridges, but rather just a bunch of old abandoned warehouses and dry docks.