The San Francisco 49ers announced on Thursday that the team will hold a public practice and "Fan Fest" at Candlestick Park, for the first time in over 20 years, on August 14 from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., offering fans of all ages a free, up-close experience with their favorite team.
Prior to the open practice, the 49ers will unveil the newly created Grand Plaza at Candlestick Park, the premier pregame entertainment destination for Faithful fans.
Free tickets to 49ers Fan Fest are available via the San Francisco 49ers website: http://www.49ers.com
Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the gates to the Grand Plaza will open and allow fans an opportunity to get a sneak peek of the new game day amenities that will be offered for the 2011 season, which kicks off with the first preseason game against the Oakland Raiders on August 20.
The team will practice at 2 p.m. and after hold an autograph session.
The 49ers have been dedicated to improving the game day experience for their fans by making significant improvements to Candlestick Park over the past several years. The creation of the Grand Plaza, which has more than 100,000 square feet, will give fans the perfect venue for pregame hospitality activities to enhance the entire game day experience.
"We are pleased to be able to hold this free practice at Candlestick Park for our fans," said Paraag Marathe, Chief Operation Officer for the 49ers. "Not only will this be a fun-filled day for fans of all ages, it will give everyone a chance to get to know the 2011 49ers players and see them in action. We are also excited about the Grand Plaza area. We feel it will create a fun and exciting venue for our fans on game days."
Among the many activities include:
• A preview of the new Grand Plaza, including opportunities to experience the new food trucks and sports bar available for 49ers games.
• Free "Football 101" classes for novice fans. There will be two 30-minutes sessions hosted by NFL referee Bill Leavy, who has officiated in two Super Bowl games. Groups of interested fans are invited to participate.
• A chance to see the five 49ers Super Bowl trophies, Super Bowl Rings and other rare memorabilia in our newly created 49ers Museum.
• Kids can participate in games and drills to test their skills.
• Meet the 2011 49ers Gold Rush team as well as 49ers Alumni.
• The first 250 fans to complete the Fan Fest event passport will win two free tickets to the 49ers August 27th game vs. Houston.
• The day will conclude with Coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers conducting a practice and autograph session.
ABOUT THE GRAND PLAZA
For the 2011 season the Candlestick Park entrance gates have been reconfigured, providing improved access. Inside the Grand Plaza, fans will find a new 49ers Museum, women's only merchandise store, new outdoor sports bar and entertainment stage in the Bud Light Plaza, food trucks and a new "kids zone" with inflatable games and Play60 Field.
It marks the sixth year in a row in which the 49ers have made significant improvements to Candlestick Park, which include installing flat screen TVs and LED video boards throughout the stadium, refurbishing escalators, constructing field-level suites, upgrading stadium and parking lot signage, and adding numerous food & beverage destinations.