AT&T Park in the China basin district of San Francisco reflects the quirky dimensions of classic urban parks. It's right-field distance is restricted by the San Francisco Bay just beyond the wall, and fans arrive at the ballpark by cop, city bus, trolley even though. From the waterfront, nine beyond right field, passersby can catch a glimpse of the game. This is a throwback to the knothole gangs of old.
The views inside the stadium of the day and see are tremendous.the stadium is a baseball only facility and provides close to the field seating that faces the infield. Which is common of the parks built in the 1990s.
The Giants were considering a move to another city in the early 1990s but team owner Peter MaGowan, created baseball's first privately funded stadium in nearly 40 years and kept the team in San Francisco.
After a rough start losing the first seven games played in the new stadium setting a record for most consecutive home losses to open a new park the Giants rounded out the 2000 season with the division title and drew more than 3 million fans. In their third season the Giants advanced to their first World Series since 1989 and lost in seven games to the Anaheim Angels.
At any Giants home game, you can find fans floating in the waters of McCovey called, on anything from a yacht to a surfboard, waiting for a long one to come their way. Specially bred Portuguese water dogs I even brought along to retrieve balls that splashed into the icy waters. They do a lot more waiting than wading, as only 50 balls in nine years and made it out of the park.
Pacific Bell, a local telephone company in the San Francisco Bay Area, purchased the naming rights for the park for $50 million over 24 years when the park opened. Pacific Bell's parent SBC Communications eventually dropped the Pacific Bell name and reached an agreement with the Giants to change the park's name on January 1, 2004. The name change upset some fans, leaving them in the awkward position of desiring the park's former corporate name.
After SBC merged with AT&T on November 18, 2005, the name of the merged company became AT&T, Inc. As a result, the stadium was given its third name in six years: "AT&T Park." Fans still refer to the stadium as "Pac Bell Park", as it was the first name given to the stadium. Others have named the stadium "The Phone Booth" or "Telephone Park", for the constant name changes, as well as "Mays Field" in honor of Giants great Willie Mays or simply "The Bell". Many also refer to the stadium as "China Basin" after its location, which would be immune to changes in sponsorship naming. The city and Caltrans required PacBell/SBC/AT&T to reimburse them for costs associated with changing signs on streets, freeways and public transport vehicles
The opening series took place from April 11–13, 2000 against the Los Angeles Dodgers (the team the Giants faced in their final series at Candlestick Park), and the Giants were swept in three games. In the first game of that series, the Giants lost 6-5, highlighted by three home runs from the Dodgers' Kevin Elster.
In just its first few years of existence, the ballpark has seen its share of historic events primarily due to veteran Giants outfielder Barry Bonds. On April 17, 2001, Bonds hit his 500th career home run at then-Pacific Bell Park. Later that year, he set the single season home run record when he hit home runs number 71, 72, and 73 over the weekend of October 5 to close the season. On August 9, 2002, Bonds hit his 600th career home run at the park. On April 12, 2004, Bonds hit career home run 660 at SBC Park to tie Willie Mays for third on the all-time list and on the next night, he hit number 661 to move into sole possession of third place. On September 17, 2004, Bonds hit his 700th career home run at the park to become just the third member of baseball's 700 club. On May 28, 2006, Bonds hit his 715th home run at the park to pass Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time list. On August 7, 2007, Bonds hit his 756th home run, breaking Hank Aaron's record.
Outside the ballpark are five statues, four of which are dedicated to San Francisco Giants all-time greats. The Willie Mays statue is located in front of the ballpark entrance at Willie Mays Plaza and is surrounded with 24 palm trees, in honor of his number 24 uniform, retired by the Giants. Another statue is located at McCovey Point across McCovey Cove, and is dedicated to Willie McCovey. Around McCovey's statue are a number of plaques that celebrate the winners of the Willie Mac Award. A third statue, dedicated in 2005, honors former Giants pitcher Juan Marichal, and is located outside the ballpark at its Lefty O'Doul gate entrance. The fourth statue is located at the park's ferry plaza, also known as Seals Plaza; a statue of a seal bobbing a baseball on its nose honors the memory of the San Francisco Seals, the minor league baseball club that played before the arrival of the Giants in 1958. On September 6, 2008, during a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a fifth statue depicting former Giants great Orlando Cepeda was dedicated at the corner of 2nd and King Streets next to the ballpark. All four statues of Giants Hall of Fame players were created by sculptor William Behrends.