The uniqueness of a positive experience is often predicated by who you are with and where you are at.
Not always, but usually it takes both to make the memory very special.
Traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area opens up your once in a lifetime portfolio of unique experiences to a skyscraper full of possibilities.
One place that can provide a very special experience is a vibrant and specially designed park that sits among the skyscrapers.
At ballparksofbaseball.com they know a great baseball experience when they see one. “Of the 30 ballparks in Major League Baseball, there are a few that should be on every baseball fan’s bucket list. AT&T Park’s charm, character and breathtaking views can only be rivaled by few other ballparks in the country.
Nestled at the edge of downtown San Francisco, AT&T Park sits between King Street and the China Basin, part of the San Francisco Bay. As fans approach the ballpark they see a magnificent steel and brick structure that features two clock towers, each 122 feet tall and featuring pyramid-shaped roofs topped by 45-foot tall flagpoles.”
Since 2000, it has served as the home of the San Francisco Giants.
Originally named Pacific Bell Park, then SBC Park in 2003 after SBC Communications acquired Pacific Bell, the stadium was ultimately christened AT&T Park in 2006 following SBC's buyout of AT&T. The park stands along the San Francisco Bay, a segment of which is named McCovey Cove in honor of former Giants player Willie McCovey.
The stadium was the home of the Foster Farms Bowl, an annual college postseason bowl game, from its inaugural playing in 2002 until 2013 and also served as the temporary home for the University of California's football team in 2011.
The stadium contains 68 luxury suites, 5,200 club seats on the club level and an additional 1,500 club seats at the field level behind home plate.
AT&T Park has a reputation of being a pitcher's park and the most pitcher-friendly ballpark in the National League due to the depth of the outfield limiting home runs, according to ESPN.
In 2014, PETA declared the park to be the Most Vegetarian-Friendly MLB ballpark in the country. It held the top spot on the same list in 2011, 2006 and 2005.
Understandably the San Francisco Giants organization is proud of their Crown Jewel. They share at sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com, “AT&T Park, with its breathtaking views and classic design, was chosen as the 2008 Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily as part of the inaugural Sports Business Awards program. The first privately financed ballpark in Major League Baseball since 1962, the Giants' home has many incredible features.”
“Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future.”… Mattie Stepanek
Wonderful memories have been made at AT&T Park.
Future memories are awaiting as well.
Let’s enjoy the thoughts of a visiting writer.
Secret to Success in San Francisco: The 2000
Opening of Pac Bell Park
When Kirk Reuter delivered the opening pitch to Devon White in Pac Bell Ballpark in April of 2000, San Francisco Giants fans were ecstatic over their team's pristine dwelling - and rightfully so. After all, spectators have been longing for a more suitable stadium since the Giants moved into Candlestick Park 40 years ago.
Pac Bell Park, recently dubbed "The Big Phone," seems almost larger than life.
Yes, the real winners are the baseball fans of San Francisco. They now boast one of Major League Baseball's premier venues. But, there was one man who almost single-handedly made a vision come to fruition. Giant’s chief operating officer Larry Baer has been consumed with the team's new ballpark preparations since 1995. Most of all, he has epitomized the need for genuine leadership in the sports business industry.
Baer, a native of the Bay Area, had been lobbying local politicians and key community members to rally behind a publicly-financed ballpark. Garnering marginal support from the majority of constituents, the Giants failed to receive municipal subsidies and found themselves in dire conditions. It was Baer who refused to surrender and finally proposed a new strategy that required funding through private investors.
Dispatching several high-ranking Giants executives on the project, Baer directed a research and development phase to determine the integral components of success in cities like Baltimore, Cleveland, and Colorado - each of which host immaculate and fan-friendly ballparks. The Giants front office soon gathered a more profound appreciation for emerging revenue streams that would accompany a new stadium. Better luxury suites, club seating, personal seat licenses, corporate sponsorships, concessions and retail presentations have all contributed to improving a franchise's bottom line.
Giant’s executives realized that teams with new ballparks had used a sizeable portion of this additional revenue to acquire top players - thus, increasing the likelihood of a championship team.
Parenthetically speaking, forget the fact that baseball franchises should always be considering new sources of revenue, regardless of their operational expenses.
Baer and his colleagues cited the Cleveland Indians as a model for uniting local fans, featuring sold-out crowds, and experiencing notable success on the playing field. The Giants staff envisioned a similar culmination in San Francisco. The first task was addressing Candlestick Park's inherent problems: cold weather, excessive seating capacity, and lack of public transit.
While the Giants tried to mitigate weather barriers with modern technology, they certainly addressed the latter two with great success. Pac Bell Park has all the charm of an intimate stadium with greater accessibility to Bay Area commuters. So, it comes as no surprise why the inaugural season is already sold out. It's a utopian setting for both baseball purists, casual spectators, and even sports business analysts - making way for an intriguing assemblage of personalities.
The ultimate test for the San Francisco Giants, however, will be the sustenance of brand loyalty. If managing general partner Peter Magowan is unable to deliver a championship team within four years, the Giants will inevitably revamp their marketing strategy toward their notoriously fickle customers. Without long-term support of its fans, the team will struggle to repay more than $150 million in debt over the next ten years.
While the Indians never faced a comparable financial burden to that of the Giants, they demonstrated more gumption in fostering sophisticated and devoted baseball fans. Sure, Jacobs Field is a dynamic stadium, but the Indians succeeded because they knew how to market their product on the field above all else.
When the novelty of Pac Bell Park erodes, look for Baer and company to finally identify the true secret of success in San Francisco - giving baseball, not the stadium, a life of its own.[Originally Written 5/10/00]
Michael Wissot is a managing partner at SymAction Communications, a corporate communications and market research firm. He serves as an adjunct professor of communication at Pepperdine University and a political analyst for KABC talk radio in Los Angeles. Wissot an expert in crisis management, messaging, public relations and Internet communications previously worked as Vice President of Luntz Research, a premier public affairs firm. He has moderated focus groups and conducted surveys for Fortune 100 companies and leading industry associations. Wissot, a former aide to U.S. Senator John McCain, has contributed to high-level messaging projects for President George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and several other world leaders and CEOs. He served three years as CEO of Dentistry.com, a leading dentist-matching company. Wissot received a BA from James Madison University, a MBA from The University of Arizona, and a MIM from Thunderbird.
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