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Capacity: 40,800
Pacific Bell Park

Area of fair territory: xxx,000 sq. ft.

Area of foul territory: Average

 

Fences: LF: 8 ft

             CF: 8 ft, with a 19-foot span that reaches an 

                   11-foot peak in left-center

             RF: 25 feet

Elevation: 0 feet

 

2002 TICKETING

Lower Box $26
View box/Arcade $20
View reserved $16
Bleacher $10
General Information

Address:
24 Willie Mays Plaza
San Francisco, Calif. 94107
Tickets: (415) 972-2000

Who Plays Here: San Francisco Giants (NL)
First Opened: March 31, 2000 (exhibition against the Milwaukee Brewers)
First regular season game: April 11, 2000 (6-5 loss to Los Angeles Dodgers)
Surface: Sports Turf (blend of five low-growing bluegrass hybrid turf grasses)

Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City)
Construction: Huber, Hunt & Nichols, Inc. and Kajima Construction Services
Owner: China Basin Ballpark Corp., a subsidiary of the Giants

Cost: $255 million
Private financing: $100 million from naming rights, a $145 million loan secured by the Giants, and $10 million tax increment financing by the City's Redevelopment Agency.  The Giants lease the land on which the ballpark sits from the Port of San Francisco at a fair market value.

Pacific Bell Park

 

  Giants

 



History

   Pacific Bell Park is the first privately financed Major League ballpark to be built in 38 years (the last was Dodger Stadium in 1962).  Well, it is at least 96% financed by the private sector, which in this day and age is as close as taxpayers can reasonably hope to get.

 

   It is a gem - a brick-faced, open-air, natural-grass, classic urban ballpark with an old-time feel that was inspired by Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, but which borrows from the local architecture to give it a distinct native feel.  It is conveniently located just a few miles from the old Candlestick site, just north of the Lefty O'Doul Bridge, in a rapidly gentrifying industrial neighborhood.  It is serviced by nearly all public transit systems servicing the San Francisco Bay area.

   The new stadium features a much more fan-friendly design, with fewer seats (by over 20,000) and a cozier feel; it has extra-wide concourses so that fans don't miss the action while going to the concessions, and 1,500 special field seats located at ground-level behind home plate and between the dugouts.  Lower box seats go for a meager $23 apiece, which is a nice family-friendly touch.  The sightlines are superior, maybe the best in the majors - unlike Candlestick Park (and other multi-purpose facilities) all seats at Pacific Bell Park face the baseball diamond.

 

   The new park was the result of the commitment of the local ownership group - led by Peter Magowan - which bought the team in 1993 to keep it in San Francisco.  

 

The Waterfront Promenade: A unique public promenade has been developed along the waterfront from right field to center field, where fans can watch the game through a fence at no charge and where San Franciscans can enjoy new access to the bay 365 days a year.  Ferries dock directly adjacent to the ballpark beyond the right field wall. Best of all, home runs that soar majestically over the right-field grandstand drop into the San Francisco Bay's China Basin - the area where balls land is called McCovey's Cove.

 

The Wind: Although it is too early to tell just how much wind will affect play here, there is no doubt that wind conditions are greatly improved from the Stick.  Wind tunnel research conducted by experts from U.C. Davis, and modern design technology in construction, has made this a less adventurous ballpark for outfielders.



The Playing Field: Kentucky Bluegrass Blend with the crushed volcanic rock infield and rubberized tartan-surface warning track.

Pacific Bell Park Firsts
Grand Opening- April 11, 2000 (Dodgers defeat Giants, 6-5)
Pitch - Kirk Rueter
Batter - Devon White
Hit - Devon White
Homerun - Kevin Elster
Stolen Base - Devon White
Victory - Chan Ho Park
Strikeout - Mark Grudzielanek
Save - Jeff Shaw
Error - Geronimo Berroa

 

Analysis

   Pac Bell solidified its reputation as a pitcher's haven last year, suppressing run production by 18% and home runs by 38%, the most in the majors.  As the park matures, maybe it will play more neutral, but the low elevation, heavy, damp air and deep alleys suggest that it will continue to be a good pitcher's park.

   It is a curious shape, because it is a compact urban building shaped by its tight surroundings.  The right-field porch is close to home plate (just 309 feet away) but deceptively hard to hit - the park suppressed left-handed power by 43% last season and 23% in 2000.  Deep alleys and a spit-clean playing surface are also pitcher-friendly factors.

 

Defense: The only position that places unusual demands on fielders is center field, where the depth of the alley in right-center requires someone with range and a good jump.  That happens to be a weak spot in the Giants lineup.

   Giants outfielders committed just 10 errors all season at home, versus 16 on the road, after a 2000 campaign when they committed just 2 at home and 16 on the road.  Opponent outfielders committed 5 here and 9 in their home parks.  The beautifully kept infield grass, plus the better weather conditions and reduced wind factor reduced errors dramatically - in fact, Pac Bell had the second lowest error factor in the NL last season after posting the lowest in the majors in 2000.

 

 

2000

2001

Error Index: 62 85
Infield-error Index: 67 93

 

Who Benefits:  I remember taking one look at the plans at the beginning of 2000, seeing the 309-foot wall in right field, and immediately drafting left-handed slugger Barry Bonds and then J.T. Snow.  Indeed, left-handed power hitters do have a short porch in right to shoot for - the distance to the right-field foul pole is the shortest in the bigs.  But the fence slides sharply away to a very, very, VERY deep power alley in right center, where the distance from home plate is 420 feet.  The result: Pac Bell suppressed left-handed home runs by 43% last year and 23% in its inaugural year, and played neutral for RHR.  

     Barry Bonds hit 37 of his 73 HR at home in 2001, compared to 25 of his 49 dingers at home in 2000; second baseman RHB Jeff Kent hit just 14 of his 33 HR at home in his MVP season in 2000 and just 8 of his 22 HR here in 2001.  Kent also hit 15 points better on the road.

 

     Giants' pitchers became pistol-hot at home in 2000, the park's inaugural year - they looked like the 1939 Yankees, posting a home record of 55-26 and an ERA of 3.45, fully 25% below the league average - and the pattern continued last season, as Giants pitchers posted a 3.79 ERA at home and 4.60 ERA on the road.  The primary beneficiaries last year were Shawn Estes (3.15 ERA at home, versus 5.15 on the road) and Russ Ortiz (2.49 ERA at home, 4.08 on the road), though Livan Hernandez, Jason Schmidt, Kirk Rueter and Robb Nenn also had favorable home-road splits.

     Select few hitters did better at home - Shawon Dunston and Rich Aurilia - while Barry Bonds posted even splits.  Left-handed hitters who don't pull the ball well do poorly here - 

Who Gets Hurt: Anyone with alley power, particularly lefties.  Right-handed pitchers have to be careful, especially finesse pitchers, because lefties can get ahead of them and rap their off-speed stuff into the Bay.

Location

San Francisco, CA: A 13-acre site is bounded by King, 2nd and 3rd Streets and China Basin. Left field (NE), 2nd Street; 3rd base (NW), King Street; 1st base (SW), 3rd Street; right field (SE), China Basin.

Park Factors

 

  Run HR Avg L-Avg R-Avg L-HR R-HR H 2B 3B
2000 84 91 95 92 132 77 102 92 93 86
2001 82 91 92 84 98 57 67 91 104 139

 

 

2000

2001

Walks: 91 98
Strikeouts: 91 97

 

 

Seating Chart

 

Dimensions

Left field: 335 feet

Left-center: 364 feet

Center field: 404 feet

Right-center: 420 feet

Right field: 307 feet

Backstop: 48 feet.

Foul territory: Average.

Fun Facts

  • Lowest LHB HR and avg factor in NL in 2001
  • Lowest RHB HR factor in NL in 2001
  • Second lowest avg and hit factor in NL in 2001
  • Second lowest error factor and infield-error in NL in 2001
  • Lowest error factor and infield-error in NL in 2000
  • Third lowest run factor in NL in 2000 and 2001

 

  • The huge glove in the left field stands is clearly marked with a "502" sign, making it the most distant current outfield measurement sign in baseball.

 


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