Saturday, December 25, 2010

2011 Cal Football at AT&T Park ... not so fast my friends.

This past May the California Golden Bears inked a deal with the Giants to play their 2011 home games at AT&T Park while Memorial Stadium undergoes their renovation. At first glance, that sounded like a great idea until you took a moment to notice some possible scheduling conflicts since the college football season starts in late August. After reflecting on how cool that would be, your old time machine probably reminded you of the old Candlestick Park days when the 49ers and Giants shared the field. At which point, you probably had nasty flashbacks on that not-so-cool bleached grass look in right field from the retractable stands, right?

Fast forward to July of this past season when Sir Paul McCartney rolled into town for his outdoor tour held at AT&T Park. Remember the not-so-cool bleached grass look in center field!?! Yeah, I'm sure the Giants execs were reminded of that too, since it took almost the entire months of July and August to get the grass looking "Giants green."

Well, last week the first "scheduling conflict" was addressed. The Bears first home game of the 2011 season is slated for Saturday, Sept. 3 against Fresno State. That's also the day the Giants host the Arizona Diamondbacks that could have serious playoff implications. So, the Bears will now host their Sept. 3 gridiron game at the old lady that everyone loves to hate, ta da, Candlestick Park! Hey 'Stick, clean out those troughs in the men's rooms, cuz the Betas, Sigmas, and their pledges are coming to town!

So the question is ... will the Bears move their next home game (Saturday, Sept. 17) to Candlestick as well even though the Giants will be on the road for that weekend? As of now, only the home opener has been moved to the 'Stick, the other home games are still scheduled to be held at AT&T Park. Do the Giants want to risk a college football game to mess up their field if the Giants are in playoff contention? Do the Giants want a possible national television audience to see the pristine AT&T Park field battered and bruised from a college game?

It doesn't end there, the Bears have two home games scheduled in October (Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. USC; Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Utah). Ummm, remember this thing called the postseason? Yeah, could be a problem once again for the reasons stated above, now it's compounded even more so.

I love the idea of hosting non-baseball events at AT&T Park, but not if it's going to interfere with the playing surface of the field during the season. Baseball should always come first. Having said that, the Giants should just inform the Bears that they need utilize the grand 'ole dame until November rolls around, then they can use AT&T Park, by then the Bears will have two homes remaining in November.

Emerald Bowl game at AT&T Park

Paul McCartney concert tear down at AT&T Park

The 'Stick

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