(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — In a 5-5 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to sell the naming rights to Candlestick Park, making it the first professional sports stadium in the United States to return to a popular name. Candlestick Park had previously been named 3Com Park, but the naming rights deal with 3Com expired on January 1, 2002. The stadium is the home for the San Francisco 49ers.
“This was a very significant vote. San Francisco, which led the nation in the practice of selling stadium naming rights in 1996 to corporations, has in effect reversed itself,” said Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, the lead opponent of the sale of naming rights to Candlestick Park. “I don't believe the public ever supported the practice and I am hopeful that other municipalities which are already engaged in the practice, or considering such an arrangement for the first time, take note.”
"Like the Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Cars, and Coit Tower, the City has a special place in its heart for tradition,” said Supervisor Tony Hall. "The 'Stick is part of that tradition. This is a victory for the everyday citizen who let us know that some things just aren't for sale.”
"I thought in this case the populist opinion, both liberal and conservative, throughout San Francisco was not to sell naming rights and the Board of Supervisors reflected that," said Tom Ammiano, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Proponents of the sale of naming rights could not obtain a majority of the 11 member board. Supervisors Gonzalez, Ammiano, Hall, Chris Daly and Jake McGoldrick voted against the sale of naming rights. — Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner