Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons is more than just the 15th game of the season for the San Francisco 49ers. It’s more than just the 36th Monday night game held at Candlestick Park as well—it’s the last one. Barring an unlikely turn of events in the playoff seedings, when the clock hits zeroes on Monday night, Candlestick Park’s time as an NFL stadium will be over.
It seems unlikely Candlestick will see the same fate as the 49ers’ old home, Kezar Stadium, whose last game was the 1971 NFC Championship Game. Instead, a prime-time sendoff for the ‘Stick will have to do.
In its tenure, the stadium hosted eight NFC Championship Games, as well as two MLB All-Star Games and two World Series. It survived the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a massive reconstruction in the ‘70s to turn the baseball-only stadium into one fit for the NFL and an embarrassing series of name changes, from Candlestick to 3Com to Monster Park and back again.
It saw 30 teams get new stadiums—only Lambeau Field and Soldier Field are older than Candlestick, and both have seen major renovations in the recent past. It was cold, windy, inconvenient to get to, a nightmare to get out of and basically a dump—a dump that saw some of the greatest moments in NFL history.
Dwight Clark pulled down "The Catch" there. Joe Montana helped propel the 49ers to the greatest regular-season comeback in NFL history there, followed up by Jeff Garcia leading them to the second-greatest comeback in postseason history. The Beatles' last scheduled concert was there.
Great things happened within the walls of the stadium.
In honor of the last season in Candlestick, here are the best players to put on a 49ers uniform during the team’s tenure in Candlestick. It’s not quite an all-time team; you won’t find Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny or Leo Nomellini here. This just covers the period from 1971 to 2013, when the 49ers called Candlestick home.