The city of San Francisco may yet auction off the right to flip the caps and implode Candlestick Park. Bidding would be intense.
But, prior to then, the ballpark’s desiccated corpse will be picked clean, and future bidders on Candlestick’s immolation may first put in bids on its infrastructure.
Most of the team memorabilia — namely, those orange seats — will be sold by the city and team in a separate batch, with 49ers season ticket-holders getting first shot. As we’ve written before, if you really wanted a plastic stadium seat, they can be had for less than 1 percent what a retired Candlestick seat will cost you.
But you could actually get a good price on the stadium’s heavy duty industrial equipment — if that’s the kind of thing you want to buy. Hell, you could buy the damn kitchen sink.
Heritage Global Partners will handle the sale on Sept. 10; the Bay Area-based outfit previously auctioned off the entrails of the America’s Cup and the ephemera of Amway Stadium in Orlando. Fourth-generation auctioneer Nick Dove notes that his company liquidated Enron, Solyndra, and Napster (Ask not for whom the bell tolls — but it’s good business for the bell-toller). He’s handled many, many shuttered factories or plants.
This, however, is the first time Dove will ever auction off a place of childhood nostalgia. But not elements of the stadium you’re likely nostalgic about. Here’s a small sampling of what could be yours come Sept. 10:
- A Vulcan deep-frying station, birthplace of your garlic fries;
- The stadium’s light towers;
- A massive, industrial washing machine resembling a particle accelerator;
- A giant diesel generator — in Giants colors;
- Metric shitloads of electronics;
- Even more electronics (with a Bill Walsh poster, blurred out in this photo);
- A Titanic-sized boiler;
- A big-assed scoreboard!
Dove figures this last item will be snatched up by a local high school or junior college. Or, maybe not — “Maybe even a sports bar!” he says with a laugh.
It’ll have to be a sports bar with a means of getting a 16-foot-high scoreboard into the building. But you never know.
Dove’s auction house earns its dough via a 16 percent “buyers premium.” If that scoreboard were to go for, say, $100 (it won’t), then the City of San Francisco would get $100 and Heritage would get $16.
In addition to the nostalgia factor, Dove says buyers appreciate stadium sales because “You know you’re buying something that works. If you buy the stadium generator from Candlestick Park, you know it’s a working generator.”
Well, most of the time.
“Okay,” he says. “But for that one night, it’s a working generator.”