From iconic stadiums to family-friendly arenas, here are the best stadiums in San Francisco that you can see on a GoCar tour!
Stadiums in San Francisco
- Kezar Stadium
- Oracle Park
- Chase Stadium
- Negoesco Stadium
- Boxer Stadium
California is a Sports State unlike any other. Thanks to the year-round nice weather, large populous cities, and longstanding history of championship teams, California has become a capital for sports both big and small, and the variety of stadiums in San Francisco attest to this.
Whether you’re looking for a great pro game to see with your friends and family, or you’re looking for a park or arena that’s accessible to the public for you to play some pickup ball at, there are some great stadiums in San Francisco that you can’t see anywhere else.
1. Kezar Stadium
Built in 1925 at the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park, Kezar Stadium is the oldest functioning stadium in San Francisco proper. The Greek amphitheater-style arena originally sat 50,000 and was built using a grant from the estate of Mary Kezar, a wealthy Bay Area pioneer.
Kezar Stadium is the original home of both the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League, as well as the San Francisco Dragons lacrosse team and the San Francisco Stingrayz, an all women’s tackle football team. Of these teams, only the 49ers and Raiders still exist, although the 49ers play in Santa Clara, several miles south, and the Raiders recently moved to Las Vegas. During the remodel of one of the most famous stadiums in San Francisco, Kezar’s seating was reduced and replaced, with the maximum capacity reduced to 10,000 seats. Of those, 5,000 are seats from the now-demolished Candlestick Park, which was San Francisco’s much famed (and maligned) arena for many years.
Kezar was prominently featured in the film “Dirty Harry”, as the home and workplace of the sniper serial killer that Clint Eastwood’s character is chasing throughout the movie.
Accessible along GoCar’s Golden Gate Park and More Tour, Kezar Stadium is a popular sporting arena today, although on a much smaller scale. The field at the center is home to San Francisco League FC Football (soccer) Club, as well as the site for many local high school American football and soccer games. The all-weather running track is a great surface for city-dwelling San Franciscans who want a flat and supportive surface to jog on.
2. Oracle Park
Home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants, Oracle Park (formerly PacBell, SBC, and AT&T Parks) is the main draw to San Francisco’s China Basin neighborhood. Completed in 2000, the park seats approximately 50,000, and its location is a vast improvement on its isolated and rather cold predecessor, Candlestick Park.
Like other stadiums in San Francisco, Oracle Park sits along the Bay but was designed to minimize the frequent gusts of wind that come off of San Francisco Bay that made Candlestick Park such a difficult location to play at. The park’s proximity to downtown, the CalTrain Station at King Street, and the Muni Streetcar lines make Oracle Park much more accessible than Candlestick. Oracle Arena is also featured as an extension of the GoCar Downtown Chinatown Loop that runs along the beautiful Embarcadero.
Visible from the south end outside the park are some of Oracle Park’s more quirky features. Behind the center field is a large Coke Bottle Superslide that sits in a larger playground that is popular with kids and adults during games. When the Giants are playing at home, the bottle lights up when the Giants hit a home run. There is also a steel and fiberglass old-fashioned baseball mitt that sits alongside the Coke bottle.
But the most interesting feature of the park actually sits right outside the park, next to the right field. McCovey Cove is the waterway that sits outside the southeast corner of the park. Named after former Giant slugger Willie McCovey, home runs hit out of the park’s southeast end fall into the water of the cove and are counted in the park’s Splash Counter. During Games, it is not uncommon to see scores of locals in boats of various sizes trying to catch a splash hit.
3. Chase Center
Just across 3rd Street Bridge and five blocks south from Oracle Park, is one of the newest stadiums in San Francisco, the Chase Center. Seating 18,000, this indoor arena is home to frequent National Basketball Association Championship contenders, the Golden State Warriors. The Chase Center is a part of the revitalized Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, sitting alongside numerous tech company offices and the Mission Bay University of California San Francisco Medical Center Campus. The Chase Center can be accessible to GoCars along the Downtown Chinatown tour if drivers detour slightly from the programmed tour.
Although the spread of COVID shut down games and performances shortly after its opening, Chase Center is already a San Francisco destination. The restaurants and bars that have cropped up alongside the arena and the nearby waterfront have revitalized this formerly sleepy industrial neighborhood by the Bay. Spark Social Food Truck Court and Stagecoach Greens Miniature Golf Course are two popular destinations in the area for the young, tech crowd that live and work in the area.
4. Negoesco Stadium
Besides the large and historical stadiums in San Francisco mentioned above, there are several smaller stadiums that host local high school and collegiate teams. Negoesco Stadium is a 3,000 seat soccer stadium on the University of San Francisco Campus in the Western Addition. The Stadium is accessible to GoCar Tours on the Golden Gate Park and More Tour by taking a short detour through the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park.
Named for USF soccer coach Stephen Negoesco, the first college soccer coach to reach 500 wins, the Stadium sits in a quiet residential neighborhood next to the private University of San Francisco campus and is a short walk from Haigh Ashbury and Golden Gate Park. The stadium is the home of the USF Dons, as well as a frequent site of games for the amateur soccer league club the San Francisco FC.
5. Boxer Stadium
Located in residential Mission Terrace in the southern portion of the city, Boxer Stadium is one of the less known stadiums in San Francisco. The arena serves as a home of the century-old San Francisco Football Soccer League, as well as high school soccer, lacrosse, and rugby leagues. As the only public soccer-specific stadium in San Francisco, it is also the home of numerous local soccer, lacrosse, and rugby events, and was the location of the inaugural 1982 Gay Games.
Boxer Stadium is part of the sprawling Balboa Park complex, where City College students and Mission District residents play and relax. The 25-acre park boasts an indoor swimming pool, skate park, off-leash dog play area, basketball courts, and picnic grounds.