Almost 50,000 fans left Paul McCartney’s recent concert at Candlestick Park with great memories of the old multipurpose stadium’s last big event. Around 2,000-5,000 departed with enough anger over their parking struggles to start a petition in hopes of getting a refund. And someone exited the Stick with the framed photo of Bill Walsh that used to hang at the end of the bone-chilling tunnel leading from the home locker room to the field.
— Paul Fung (@Paul8383) August 27, 2014
According to Director of Tours Amanda Tugwell (Paul Fung’s tour guide), the plaque is safe in storage. But the photo went missing at some point after the concert. No other specifics were provided.
Since Candlestick is on borrowed time, people were probably on the lookout for souvenirs. Several concertgoers undoubtedly reached down onto the field and grabbed chunks of grass, causing the field to look like Levi’s Stadium after the 49ers’ first preseason game. I took a tour of the old stadium back in December — if the crew wanted some keepsakes, there probably weren’t too many options.
That doesn’t mean it makes sense for a roadie (if a member of the crew was indeed the culprit) to steal a photo of a Hall of Fame football coach, but at least the plaque is safe. One would imagine that’ll end up in the 49ers museum at Levi’s, or maybe even the end of their tunnel — if for some reason the 49ers decide to rename that field after Bill Walsh, instead of selling the naming rights to some tech company. The photo would seem much easier to replace than the plaque, and maybe that was why it wasn’t bolted into the wall well enough to deter petty thieves, but it’s certainly an odd situation.