The San Francisco 49ers sent Candlestick Park out in style, beating the Atlanta Falcons, 34-24, on Monday Night Football of Week 16. A small portion of the San Francisco fanbase, however, did not.
According to reports, up to 30 people were arrested during the contest. From CBS Bay Area:
San Francisco police Sgt. Danielle Newman said police would not be releasing a lot of details about the goings-on Monday at the 53-year-old Candlestick Park where the 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-24.
“There were some thefts of stadium property. … I know that some seats were destroyed tonight … I know of some signs being taken off the wall,” Newman said.
A least one person was reported injured during the game but not seriously, Newman said.
Police said Monday morning that 30 people were arrested for property destruction and drunkenness; seven received citations; and 81 people were ejected from the stadium during the game.
Those shenanigans marred what was otherwise a celebratory evening for the Niners as they said goodbye to their famous stadium, highlighted by NaVorro Bowman's fourth-quarter pick-six that sealed the win.
The team played its last regular-season game at Candlestick Park—and possibly the last game there ever, period, depending on how the postseason seeds shake out in Week 17—and earned a playoff berth in the process.
Next year, the team will move to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. That stadium will have quite a legacy to live up to, as SportsCenter on Twitter notes:
• 5 Super Bowl Titles • 27 NFL Playoff Games (most ever) • 36 #MNF Games (most ever) • 2 NL Pennants • "The Catch" Good run, Candlestick!— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 24, 2013
The night should have been a celebration, plain and simple. Unfortunately, a small pocket of fans decided to end the festivities on a less positive note.
Of course, for all of the memories and festivities surrounding the last regular-season game to be played in the stadium, it had its detractors. Candlestick Park was notoriously unpopular with many sports writers, and a few were a bit happier to say goodbye than others.
Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times wasn't sharing in the love fest before the Monday Night Football broadcast:
My memories of Candlestick Park? Damp, dark, lousy parking. Didn't like it as much ESPN loving it now.— Chris Dufresne (@DufresneLATimes) December 24, 2013
Dan Graziano of ESPN didn't mince any words when recalling his time spent at the stadium:
I have a lot of memories of Candlestick Park, but they're all terrible because it's a terrible place, outdated 20 years ago. Good riddance.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 24, 2013
And Pete Prisco of CBS had a little poem to send off the iconic stadium:
Montana be nimble, Rice be quick. Thank God this is the end of Candlestick.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) December 24, 2013
Of course, plenty of people loved Candlestick Park and will be sad to see it go. And those same people are probably quite disappointed in the group of fans that decided to honor Candlestick by acting like hooligans on the stadium's final night.