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|| News Item: Posted 1998-12-05

NFL Stadium Report
San Francisco-Oakland

By Brad Mangin, Freelance

Covering NFL games in the San Francisco Bay Area at Raider and Forty Niner games hasn't been that different this season since the NFL created the new Network TV zone in front of us and moved us back three feet. There were a few problems at the first few exhibition games, but since then things have settled down OK.

I have not been blocked at all since the regular season started, and have even had NFL Films guys look back and ask if he was blocking me. I thanked him for being so courteous and told him he was just fine as I could still see the field because he made sure not to shoot DIRECTLY in front of any still photographers that were in position before he got there.

Most of the Network TV shooters and NFL Films guys are pros and haven't created too many problems. The thing we still have to worry about are the dish guys who still think that they can go in front of us, but they have been taken care of as sideline security people have become better educated on the new rules.

As everyone knows, the sidelines in Oakland and San Francisco have been historically hideous with way too many geeks and hangers on with genuine photo credentials that make the sidelines already overcrowded before the new rules went into effect. If you don't like the crowds just shoot from the endzone where there is NO network zone, or shoot back lit where there are usually no geeks because they are too stupid to shoot pretty backlit pictures with dark, clean backgrounds.

Like most ballparks, Candlestick and the Oakland Coliseum aren't too bad to park at if you have the proper parking credentials. At Candlestick the best parking lot to have a pass for is the "L" lot, which puts you right in front of the ballpark and is pretty good for quick post-game exits....the other pass that we get stuck with sometimes is the "C" lot which is in centerfield, so you enter the ballpark through the centerfield gate instead of the clubhouse entrance in the rightfield corner.

Lot "C" is awful for post-game traffic if you stay for the entire game as you are penned in and have to drive through the unruly fans in order to get out of the lot. If you don't have parking your only choice is to get there by around 10am for a 1pm start and pay $20 for one of the dirt or gravel lots, as the main concrete lot is usually filled with between 9-10am.

In Oakland The parking isn't bad if you get the "H" lot pass that puts you pretty close to the entrance in the north lot. If you don't have parking you still gotta get there by 10-10:30 to get into the main lot, depending on how well he team is doing. If they draw well it is a mess, but last season you could cruise in at 11am and still get a spot.

A few weeks ago some local guys got there around 11am for the Denver game and had to haul their gear in from way on the other side of the 880 freeway, which was a nightmare. They have overflow dirt lots there that are a real pain-in-the ass that I have never had to park in, and don't ever plan on doing so.

(Brad Mangin's web site: )

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