With the capacity to fit nearly 65,000 people within its confines, Candlestick Park has plenty of ways to accommodate its visitors.
However, in the 41 years that the 49ers have been playing at the stadium, those accommodations have never included bike parking — until now.
For the team’s next home game — a Nov. 11 contest against the St. Louis Rams — the 49ers will provide bike racks, the first time that fans will have a legitimate place to park their two-wheelers at Candlestick. The team is still figuring out where the racks will go and how many bikes it can accommodate, but the structures will definitely be in place by game time, spokesman Bob Lange said.
“This gives us one more way to enhance our fans’ experience,” said Lange, who added that the team is considering permanent bike parking at its planned Santa Clara stadium site.
The lack of access for cyclists at Candlestick is a far cry from the situation at AT&T Park, where a bike valet program regularly serves more than 200 bikes, according to Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
She said the proposed waterfront Warriors arena also is expected to contain robust bike parking options.
Shahum said complaints about the lack of access at Candlestick have been rare, other than an incident the coalition became aware of earlier this week in which a cyclist was forced to leave the ballpark because he couldn’t find anywhere to park. But that doesn’t mean a need doesn’t exist, she said.
“Obviously, Candlestick Park is a bit more remote than AT&T Park, but biking is still very doable from The City’s southeast neighborhoods,” Shahum said. “And we’ve found that if you accommodate cyclists, they’ll definitely take advantage.”