Luke Martin traveled over two hours by car to join 32,000 fellow 49ers fans at Candlestick Park for “Fan Fest” presented by HP on Sunday.
Martin said he was drawn to Fan Fest to see the team’s public practice during 2012 training camp. He also enjoyed many of the activities held to entertain the 49ers Faithful ahead of the team practice.
“I wanted to see the team’s five Super Bowl trophies and I wanted to get some of my favorite players’ autographs after practice, especially
Martin took in many of the attractions in the 100,000 square-foot Grand Plaza at Candlestick before heading into the stadium to watch practice.
The opportunity to see prized 49ers memorabilia like the team’s Super Bowl rings made the 49ers Museum one of the plaza’s more frequented areas. A line stretched around the exhibit for much of the day.
Fan Fest, held at Candlestick Park for the second consecutive year, saw a considerable increase in attendance this year with nearly 8,000 fans having taken in the event’s 2011 version.
Fans were treated to a true “gameday” experience in the Grand Plaza providing 49ers supporters with popular food trucks, a merchandise store, an outdoor sports bar and an entertainment stage.
“I was looking forward to watching the players play, but the best thing so far has been the drinks and my kids have enjoyed the food in the Grand Plaza, especially the cookies,” said Sean Finley, a San Francisco native, before of the public practice got underway.
Fan Fest featured fun for the whole family as Georgia Felix of San Francisco brought her two daughters to participate in the youth football clinics. The clinics gave young fans the rare opportunity to step foot on the hallowed Candlestick grass and take part in football drills
“We are 49ers fans and we wanted to come out and see the players and the different events,” Felix said. “The weather has actually been very nice. My nine-year-old daughter Natalie got to go out on the Candlestick Park field and do the football drills. That was the best part.”
Performers like Entourage Band and Niner Noise set the mood on the entertainment stage for the Gold Rush to wow spectators in the Grand Plaza before practice got under way.
Martin Lienhard brought his family from Sacramento on short notice to take in the day at the home of the 49ers. Lienhard’s son, Jordan, said he was most looking forward to going into the stadium to see some of his favorite 49ers practice.
Martin was especially excited to see 49ers newcomers like
With increased attendance, great weather and fun for the whole family allowing 49ers Fan Fest 2012 to be a wild success, the team signed autographs post-practice. The autograph session gave fans coveted souvenirs from busy day in Candlestick.
The practice ended in style when Alex Smith connected with tight end
Jim Harbaugh expressed his appreciation for the fans that came out to Candlestick Park when he spoke to the media following practice and a lengthy autograph signing session.
“It is really great to have the fans here,” Harbaugh said. “It seems like there were maybe four-to-five times more people this year to what there was last year. They couldn’t have been nicer. They are just really good to our team and we appreciate that.”With so many activities to enjoy at 2012 49ers Fan Fest presented by HP, many San Francisco fans left Candlestick Park on Sunday afternoon asking themselves in the words of Jim Harbaugh, “Who’s got it better than us?”