Of the three major sports team in the Bay Area, only the baseball team, the Giants, relocated to San Francisco from another city. The other two teams are native Californians, so to speak. The baseball story is famous — how the New York Giants, a legendary East Coast team, pulled up roots in 1958 and moved to the West Coast, devastating its NYC fans.
The football playing 49ers and the skating Sharks grew up right here in the Bay Area. Even though one of the three teams isn't native, all of them now seem like they've been here forever and are part of the local culture. But are they really "local"? Let's take a look.
Once they grew new roots on the new coast, the Giants embraced San Francisco. After only two years, in 1960, a new stadium was built for them. Candlestick Park, though, became infamous for the cold winds blowing in off the bay, making it tough for fans, the Giants, and the 49ers, who played football there.
Although they stuck it out for 40 years, the San Francisco Giants finally tired of the conditions and moved in the year 2000 to a new stadium built essentially downtown, AT&T Park. It's an inviting arena, with a great view of the Bay and easily accessible by public transportation. Click on the button below for an updated schedule and sources of game ticket.
The 49ers were homegrown, starting out with the old All-America Football Conference in 1946. They were the first major professional sports team in California. They, too, ended up playing for years at Candlestick Park, from about 1970 to 2013. But, even though a local team, they apparently hadn't left their hearts in San Francisco, as the Giants had.
When they moved stadiums starting with the 2014 season, the 49ers didn't move closer to San Francisco, but farther away, to Santa Clara, next to San Jose, about an hour from San Francisco. The new Levi's Stadium is pretty spectacular, though, and a near-perfect venue for football.
The team retains the name "San Francisco 49ers", even with the move, even though they are in Santa Clara and the big city of San Jose is right next store. This now makes them the team in professional sports located farthest away from their namesake city.
The final pro sports team in the Bay Area doesn't worry about showing any San Francisco roots. And why should they? The Sharks were incorporated as a brand-new NHL team and they play in a new arena in San Jose, about 40 minutes away from the old Candlestick Park.
The Sharks weren't the first NHL team in California. That dubious honor goes to the California Golden Seals which was an NHL team from 1967 for about nine years. The Golden Seals just couldn't seem to make it, though. The team was moved from place to place and finally folded as the Cleveland Barons (who the heck names these teams?) a few years later.
The Sharks now play in the San Jose Arena (which has been renamed The SAP Center – who names these things?). You can consult the season schedule and ticket availability below.
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