All I want for Christmas …is a Candlestick urinal

Who wouldn't want this under their tree?

Editor’s Note:

In celebration of the likely event that Monday night’s 49er game is the last event, ever, at Candlestick Park, the letter below and attached waiver PDF was submitted to San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department Commissioner Mark Buell and San Francisco 49ers’ CEO Jed York asking that one of the park’s famous trough urinals be set aside for personal acquisition.

I can think of no better, or fitting, Christmas present. Ho Ho Ho.


Dec. 23, 2013

Commissioner Mark Buell
San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department
McLaren Lodge-Golden Gate Park
501 Stanyan St.
San Francisco, CA 94117

Dear Mr. Buell,

I am writing you with an interest in purchasing one (1) of the trough urinals from a soon-to-be destroyed bathroom of the soon-to-be razed Candlestick Park.

Please consider this as a serious offer and not just one I made because I don’t have any room for the giant escalator at my house. While I know there isn’t much of a chance of me getting a reasonable reply, please be sure that the trough urinal is a piece of the park’s history I strongly feel should be preserved in my own home, even if it means facing the threat of being kicked out of it in order to do so.

Before I go into why the sentimental value of these urinals makes them priceless, I’ll first make my cash offer.

I realize you may defer me to the pair of orange or red chairs currently available for purchase from the park. While it’s very generous of both your San Francisco Recreation and Park department as well as the San Francisco 49ers offer these pieces of future landfill for $749/pair, I simply can’t think of any justification to buy a seat that feels like sitting on a giant ice block every time the mercury dips below 50 (see: every Friday night Giants game) and heats up to egg frying temps when the sun decides to peek out (see: Sunday day games.) I don’t know what kind of magic was baked into that plastic, but if Dow chemical made a brand called Extremetemperaturehold™, those seats were the prototype.

I could buy one to torture my children, because I feel like sometimes I was made to sit there and be tortured, not only from the temperatures but from the product on the field, but I’ll pass on that and focus on the urinal instead.

A new porcelain industrial-sized urinal runs about $1,200. My guess is the urinal I’m seeking cost around $50 at the time of install in 1958. While I don’t think many urinals increase in value over time and use (my estimation is approximately 922 men can use a single urinal during the span of a two-and-a-half hour sporting event. Multiply that by the 5,867 events — approximately — that have occurred at Candlestick over the lifetime of the urinal, and you’ve talking about 5,409,374,000 uses), I am willing to pay a premium.

Now, I’m not naive and I know at least a handful of thee urinals must have been replaced along the way, but I’m willing to (in this case) suspend disbelief and just say that I will offer well above market value for something that has seen more junk than Sanford and Son.

My offer for a urinal is $550. I feel when the demo of the ‘Stick goes down, the urinals are simply going to end up trapped for eternity in a pile of rebar and concrete, so, ostensibly I’m paying for a couple of union guys to go in and dismantle and bag that bad boy. Should this be too hard to coordinate, I’ve got a couple buddies, a full set of wrenches and some work gloves that will have it out of there in ten minutes.

Please find the attached waiver, one that releases you from all liability from hazard, permanent paralysis, disease from acquisition and death resulted from taking custody of the urinal. It is me accepting all responsibility. Please feel free to have your attorney review the document and add any provisos you feel would make the agreement more solvent.

Lastly, I just wanted to put in a bit of a personal plug as to why saving just one of these urinals is important. I don’t know any long-suffering Giants or 49ers fan who doesn’t take pause and acknowledge the trough or “community” urinal as anything but genius in its simplicity.

Personally, I have three great ‘Stick urinal stories:

My first game at the ‘Stick I was about seven or eight years old. I was peeing next to my dad and I think he’d had a couple beers, because it wasn’t one of those single-stream pees, rather it was like when you turn the fancy hotel shower nozzle to pulse. It was a good thing my mom had the foresight to make me wear my windbreaker because it went everywhere. I remember it splashed on my arm and him kind of looking down and laughing. We had many tangles over the years, but I still think, in the end, nothing I did ever trumped him getting away with peeing on me at a ballgame.

During a particularly heated NL West divisional series in the fall of 1997, the Dodgers came to town on a Friday night. My buddies and I got hammered by the gray parking lot tower and by the fourth inning, I was already making my third pit stop. I was standing between a Giants fan and a Dodgers fan watching everyone’s urine run like a river toward the drain. I kept spitting in there and it looked like a little spit boat careening toward the shore. The Giants fan leaned over and said “The urinals for small-d*ck’d Dodger fans is next door.” I don’t know why I thought this was funny but I started busting up. Because I was closer in proximity, the Dodgers fan took his free hand and smashed my head against the yellow tile. I basically woke up in the drunk tank/medical room with a chipped canine tooth two innings later and watched the rest of the game on the closed-circuit TV in there. (As a side note: Another buddy turned up in the drunk take around the seventh inning for peeing beneath the bleachers.)

My buddy Paul lit out of the bathrooms in China Basin during the first game there in 2000. He was pissed and knocking beer cups out of like every dude’s hand as he exited. I met him in the concourse and asked him what was wrong. “New fair weather Giants fans, that’s what’s wrong,” he said. Figured I wasn’t going to get an explanation beyond that, so I let it go. A few months later we were out at the bars and he pointed out something interesting: Candlestick Giants fans NEVER went to the beer concession BEFORE they went to the bathroom because your beer would either get elbowed, or worse, peed in. China Basin Giants fans ALWAYS seem to tote beers (and their handhelds) in the bathroom with them. To this day, when I see anyone over 40 with his hands buried in his pockets waiting for his turn at an individual urinal or stall at AT&T Park, I think of Paul and the handful of fans who remain traumatized by the ‘Stick bathrooms.

So, there it is. Again, I hope this request at least merits a thoughtful response and I do hope at least one trough urinal will be preserved for posterity. Too many of our young men grow up standing in line to pee at major sporting events and not only is that emasculating but it takes away from the camaraderie, companionship and rivalry of professional sport.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Andrew J. Pridgen

Candlestick Bathroom (Urinal) Fan


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  1. […] I’m not a PSL holder at the new stadium. I haven’t attended a game since 2001. I haven’t bought 49ers merch since I had a size 24 waist and Starter jackets were worn off the shoulder. And, minus a casual check of the score on my phone or a quiet affair with Vernon Davis when he was my number-one tight end, I’ve done nothing in the name of the 49ers (though I recently did offer to take a Candlestick urinal off their hands). […]