SBC Park / SF Giants, San Francisco
I can't keep up with the numerous name changes. It will always be Pac Bell Park to me. It's a great place to see a baseball game. You can also buy tickets for a tour of the ball park. They like to keep the tour groups rather small (unlike Fenway) and show you some really cool things such as the visitors' dugout and locker room.
If you are here during baseball season, you must go to a Giants Game at AT&T Park, (formerly SBC Park and before that, PacBell Park. The name changes so often, we just now call it "The "Ballpark"). Doesn't matter if you are not a Giants fan or even a baseball fan. Simply going to The Ballpark is an experience.
Equipment: Rather than buying a ticket, some people prefer to sail their boat McCovey Cove, in the foreground of this picture and watch the game on TV on their boat. Why? Because this is the most likely place Barry Bonds, a lefty, will hit a homerun. This Cove is just beyond right outfield.
SF Baseball is a bit like religon...very hard core cult oriented. The new SBC park in the Mission Bay (China Basin) area of SF offers a panoramic view of SF Bay. Also, it provides a unique opportunity for people to "catch" home runs hit out of the park. They have to be in the bay at the time.
Equipment: Wear layers. It can be hot at times, but generally it's cold.
Well I don't know about you, but I love seeing baseball in person at the stadiums. It's much better than watching it on television I think. And plus, SBC Park is a really nice park with good amenities. If you weren't aware, the thing that puts SBC Park ahead of other stadiums is the fact that the Bay is very close to the right field wall. If someone has a good day, they will knock the ball into the water - which is always a big deal of course.
For those who do not know, the baseball season starts in April and ends in September, with the playoffs going on in October.
I have never been to see a game in San Francisco so we thought it would be fun to do. This trip was a sports road trip. On Saturday we saw the Dodger/Giants game at SBC Field and on Sunday we saw the Raider game in nearby Oakland. My friends Karin and Dave just bought a new car and we thought we should break it in.
The SBC Field is nice. Looks new and clean and the Giants fans are pretty calm people. The only loud people in the parking lot were the Dodger fans and when we would run into eachother...forgettabout it...
When we visited it was known as Pacific Bell Park, oh the joys of corporate sponsorship. A nice stadium in a great downtown location, unfortunately there was no game on when we were there but part of the site is open to the public.
While I was in San Fransisco, I met up with another English girl who I'd travelled with in Southern California. We both wanted to go to a Baseball game while we were in the States, and agreed to go together while we were in SF. I think our reasoning behind wanting to go is that when you see people on TV and in films at Baseball games, they all seem to be having so much fun. We assumed it was a big part of American Culture, and it was something we shouldn't miss. We left feeling ever so slightly disappointed. When we got there we didn't have a clue what was going on (for about the first 10 mins of the game we thought the players were just playing catch to warm up!) We spent the remainder of the game trying to figure out which side were the Giants, complaining over the price of the beers - we were backpackers at the time! - and shivering from the cold. However, I think the most disappointing thing of all, was that the people around us didn't appear to be having much fun either. Now, I'm not trying to say don't go to a baseball game, and I'm certainly not trying to upset any baseball fans. What I would suggest is that if you really do want to go to a Baseball game and aren't familiar with the sport, then go with somebody who is so that they can explain it to you. Either that, or research the rules in advance of the game!
PS. if there are any baseball fans out there who might care to send me an email with a brief explanation of the ins-and-outs of the game then that'd be much appreciated!
Going to a SF Giants game was a great time! I didn't realize that the "Splash Zone" was so close to the park and it was fun watching people hanging out in their kayaks - waiting for a homerun ball. There were a bunch of chickens (rubber that is) hanging from the right field wall and it took a while for us to figure out what the heck they were for. After "the Big Unit" didn't pitch to Barry Bonds and they added another chicken though, we got it. It's a nice park and if you love going to baseball games, you won't be disappointed! I would recommend leaving a tad early unless you're a die hard fan. It can be tricky grabbing a cab when tons of others are doing the same thing!
You can watch the Giants for free by looking through the fence in right field! There's a guard there - regulating how long you can stay (they shoo you out if there's a line, so everyone gets a chance).
SBC Park is an awesome place to watch a ballgame, even if the team is not so awesome these days. Holding only 43,000 people, you're really close to the action. There really aren't any bad seats - even the upper deck in right has a great view of the Bay Bridge (see photo). The bleachers are a great deal, too - only $10 - and you're real close to the field.
To get tickets - call first, to see if any are available through conventional channels. Your concierge can help, rich guy! Also, drop hints to whomever you meet that you want to go; everyone you meet in the city will know someone who knows someone who has tickets! Craig's List has an abundance of tickets. And, lastly, there are always the scalpers, who hang out around the parking lots and on the side streets leading to the park.
Equipment: Cooler restrictions are in place, as usual - I think they have to be softshell and no bigger than 16x12x8. What to bring? MONEY! The food at the park is excellent - especially the garlic fries! Bring a glove - if you remembered to pack it. Souveniers are plentiful and varied.
A few more tips -
Take Public Transportation! Parking is limited and getting to the lots is slow. Take the N Mission Bay train, which goes right to the ballpark from all downtown stations.
The Willie Mays staute is a great landmark in the plaza to meet up at, but EVERYONE meets at the Willie Mays statue. It'll be less crowded if you meet at the promenade on the water behind right field. Speaking of which - you can get a glimpse of the game FOR FREE by looking through the right field fence on the promenade. They don't let you stay long - a couple of innings at the most - but it's a fun thing to do.
As you enter SBC Park you'll notice that from the concessions area (the walkway behind the seats where you buy food and souvenoirs) you can still watch the baseball game and have a wonderful view of the stadium.
Equipment: Bring a baseball glove in case a ball pops up into the stands.
This is me during the 1st inning of the Giants vs Padres game earlier this evening at SBC Park in San Francisco. This picture is taken next to that gigantic baseball glove to the left of centerfield.
We lost 9-3 today; Lawrence for San Diego pitched a very good game.
This is an excellent park to watch games because there are many shops nearby and restaurants. There are also monuments and statues recognizing famous SF Giants baseball players such as Willie Mays, Willie McCovery, and Juan Marichal.
The local baseball team (San Francisco Giants) have called this home since March 31, 2000. SBC Park (formerly Pac Bell Park) is a beautiful park situated on 13 acres. Baseball season runs from March-October, and tickets are available from $10.00-$75.00 each. Parking is limited, so use public transportation when possible.
Video Replay Screen: 32 x 24 feet
Distance of right center field alley: 420 feet
Come out and enjoy a day of fun!
Equipment: Dress in layers! You can never be sure what the weather will be doing. The park is located right on the bay, and it can get extremely windy.
SBC Park, home of the Giants, from the outfield. This might be the most beautiful stadium in the USA, and it's right on the water too. Baseball season is from April through September, but you can get into the stadium any time of the year. Either pay for a tour, or get into the outfield bleachers for free, as I did. And, bring the kids too-they have a couple of baseball themed playgrounds-including in the big Coke bottle.
Any time of the year, SBC Park is brilliant. Nice job, Giants!!!
SBC Park is one of the newest and most magnificent ballparks in America. If you have time, you really should see a game here. From the stands, you have a great view of the waterfront and boats sailing by. Small boats line up in McCovey Cove, hoping to fish a home run ball out of the water. The stadium is impressive, clean and features lots of refreshment options. And then of course, there are the Giants, who are often a pretty good team and always fun to see in action.
The Giants have been playing at SBC Park since 2000 and you can see them in action from March to October of each year. Tickets range in price from $10- $75 at the stadium (although you may pay more if you scalp tickets on the street).
There is not a lot of parking near the stadium, and a spot will often cost you $20. It's best to walk, take a cab or use public transportation to get there.
Equipment: If you're attending a day game, put on some sunscreen. Don't be fooled by San Francisco's famous fog-- you will get burned if you sit out in the stands all day.
Also, it's a good idea to wear a light jacket or sweater with a t-shirt underneath. Layers are key in San Francisco, where it can be sunny one minute and cold the next.
Don't forget to wear your Giants gear, as well!