San Francisco police reportedly arrested 30 people as the final regular season game at the 49ers’ Candlestick Park came to a close this past Monday night.
According to Sgt. Eric O’Neal of the San Francisco Police Department, most of the arrests were for the usual public drunkenness as fans said a possible last goodbye to the stadium that has been the home of the San Francisco 49ers since 1971. But at least one person was arrested on suspicion of attempting to take pieces of the stadium home with them. Sgt. Danielle Newman said that some of the 70,000 seats at the park were destroyed by souvenir hunters and that signs had been torn from the walls.
At one point during the night, those suspected of being under the influence were taken to district police stations which have smaller lockups because the San Francisco jail was overflowing with fans saying a rowdy goodbye to their park.
In addition to those arrested, at least 81 people were ejected from the park after the game while seven were cited for various infractions. There was one minor injury to the head, though no details on what caused it have been released.
O’Neal reported that the event went as planned for the police. The Chief of Police, Greg Suhr, had stated earlier that 50 percent more officers would be on duty for Monday night’s final hurrah then might normally be for a 49ers game night. The police said that they were pleased that they only had to arrest 30 people at the final 49ers Candlestick game despite the sell-out crowd that attended.
More than 70,000 people were present at the stadium Monday night to watch the 49ers play the Atlanta Falcons in the final normal game of the season. While fans were definitely treating the game as the last to be played at the stadium, it is still possible that it will host playoff games if the 49ers continue their run toward the Superbowl. After a close matchup, much closer than many thought it would be for the 10-4 49ers against the 4-10 Falcons, the San Francisco team did pull it out against Atlanta, earning a 34-24 victory in the final minutes of the game. The Falcons were threatening with a tying touchdown when NaVorro Bowman snatched up the ball after a teammate wrestled it from the grasp of a Falcons receiver and ran it all the way home to a rousing home crowd cheer. The 49ers end their 2013 regular season games with an 11-4 record.
After the game and following concert, most fans bid a final farewell to the stadium and left in an orderly fashion, listening to the final plea of the scoreboard just before the end of the game: “Respect the Stick.” Plans are for Candlestick Park to be demolished following the completion of the new Levi’s Stadium, the future home of the 49ers in Santa Clara. The new stadium reportedly cost $1.2 billion to build and the increased ticket prices for the season have made many season ticketholders give up their seats for the 2014 season.
If the 49ers do host another game at Candlestick for the playoffs, it is hoped that any seats that may have been damaged by the 30 arrested by the police will be temporarily fixed for the final time.
By Marisa Corley