If you’re going to a San Francisco 49ers game, finding a free parking spot near Candlestick Park is about as tough as finding a spot in the stadium where you can escape the notoriously chilly wind. Plus, the neighborhood around The Stick isn’t exactly the safest in the city. So, if you decide to tackle driving to a 49ers game, you’d be wise to park in one of the designated Candlestick lots.
Here’s some information that can make the Candlestick parking experience almost as effortless as a Steve Young-to-Jerry Rice pass.
- The parking lots usually open to the general public four hours before kickoff.
- If you haven’t paid ahead of time, car and motorcycle parking costs $30.
- You can’t park without valid game tickets or credentials.
- Spaces are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis and are not reserved. Motorists with parking passes are given priority.
- The admission gates open two hours before kickoff.
- In response to fan violence, the 49ers in 2011 instituted a ban against tailgating after kickoff. “Any fans loitering in the lot after the beginning of the game will be asked to either get into the game,” the team says on its website, “or to leave the lot.”
- Cops will flag any cars that are situated outside the parking gates before the gates open.
Now that you know the rules, let’s look at your parking options.
Holders of parking passes
Traveling from the north or south, exit at Third Street (Cow Palace) on U.S. Highway 101 and then turn right on Jamestown Avenue. Stay in the right-hand lanes as you go toward the parking lots.
Motorists without parking passes
If you’re traveling from the north, head south on 101 to Cesar Chavez Street and go east to Evans Avenue. Make a right turn, drive to Third Street and go right. Head to Carroll Avenue, take a left and drive to the parking lots. If you’re traveling from the north or south, exit at Third Street and turn right on Carroll.
Fans sitting in luxury suites are assigned to lots A and L. From the north or south, take the Third Street exit on 101 to Jamestown and make a right. Get into the left-hand lane closest to the fence.
Fans with disabilities
More than 150 accessible spaces are located in the interior lot. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis. You don’t need a parking pass to use accessible parking, but you must show a valid DMV disability card and a valid disability placard.
Note: The parking situation for 49ers games should improve dramatically in 2014 when the team is scheduled to occupy the new Santa Clara Stadium in Santa Clara County.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
John Egan is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on Examiner.com.