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3com Park Candlestick Park goes corporate

Fans in meltdown over stadium's new name

December 4, 1995
Web posted at: 8:50 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Brian Nelson

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- It's a story of a scandal, some say one of legendary proportions. It's also a story involving high technology, sports, and a city's pride and history.

49ers Among the big city stadiums there's Soldier Field, Tiger Steam, Camden Yards, and 3Com Park.

3Com Park?

Yes, San Francisco's Candlestick Park, the windswept home of football's famed 49'ers, and baseball's Giants, is now called 3Com Park.

So what's in a name? Sometimes, it's just a matter of taste of preference. Other times, it's visceral. Just ask the people of San Francisco. (130K AIFF sound or 130K WAV sound)


"Candlestick Park to me. Always will be."
"What's wrong with Candlestick?"
"It's gonna be hard to get used to."
"If it makes us any money, fine. But I love Candlestick Park."

-- Reactions of some fans to the new name

For now, get used to "3Com Park".

The name belongs to a San Francisco high tech company. 3Com paid the city a mere $500,000 to slap its moniker on this legendary stadium and in return reap millions of dollars in publicity. But San Franciscans have their own preferences.

"It just doesn't fit," one man said.

"They can call it 3Com if they want," said another. "But I'll always consider it Candlestick."

They're not exactly calling it appeasement. But recently the people at 3Com have given the city and its ballpark something that no other city's ballpark seems to have: an Internet kiosk.

Internet computer Sports-hungry fans at 3Com Park can touch a computer screen and instantly get in touch with the latest sports news from the Internet.

"Let's look at the Dallas game. We can see what the final score was," said a man who was testing out the new system.

The computer screens also allow fans to monitor road conditions around the state.

"Los Angeles. Let's look at the 405 in L.A. and see what that looks like," said another man.

The company, which sells Internet connections, says it's performing a community service by opening doors to the Internet. (70K AIFF sound or 70K WAV sound)

"We want to give the fans access to new technology and very high-speed access to the Internet," said 3Com vice president Eric Sternberg.

"It's everywhere, but it's not there for the common person," said Steve Elston of 3Com. "They don't really understand it."

Fans also don't understand why the park may have another name when the initial 3Com contract expires at the end of this football season. Candlestick goes on the auction block to the highest corporate bidder. Why, the next name might be:

"Hershey's?" proposes one man at the park.

"It will be, ah, something like Applestick," guessed another man.

"It will be Sony Candlestick next week, Buick Candlestick Budweiser Candlestick," said a fan.

And that goes for a lot of the fans here. Regardless what they call it in sports broadcasts, to the fans, it will still be "the stick."

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