In San Francisco, the 49ers professional football team has gained widespread notoriety as a successful organization, and has attracted a large fan-base. Founded in 1946, it is the oldest major sports team in California, and was the first team to be based within the city. Its name was selected to recognize the massive migration of tenacious prospectors who were in search of gold during the 1849 Gold Rush.
During the franchise's early years, its home games were played in the Kezar Stadium, which is located in the southeastern portion of Golden Gate Park. The team was based in the stadium through the end of its 1970 season. This venerable stadium was demolished in 1989, and re-built with a smaller seating capacity and numerous upgrades. To honor its history, a replica of the original stadium arch was incorporated into the design. Displayed on the western side, the arch houses a plaque honoring Bob St. Clair, a San Francisco native who was a NFL Hall of Fame player.
In 1971, the team relocated to Candlestick Park, just south of the city. The new stadium provided the team with much-needed amenities, and was easier for fans to access from the highway. However, being situated on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay, it is subject to strong, swirling winds which frequently create challenging, unusual playing conditions. The team has announced it will end its 43-year association with the park with the close of the 2013 season.
The 2014 season will open at a new home park, the Santa Clara Stadium. The 68,500-seat stadium is situated near the Great American theme park and the city's convention center. It offers easy access and provides special seating options for fans with physical disabilities.
Santa Clara Stadium is registered with the U. S. Green Building Council. It features many environmentally-friendly elements. Among them are a green roof with photovoltaic panels, use of recycled water for landscaping, water-saving bathroom fixtures, and computerized monitoring devices which provide feedback on the performance of the ventilation system.
Fans who wish to display their team loyalty with 49ers hats have many options from which to choose. Among them are snug beanies and adjustable ball caps. The logo designs include the earthquake, goal line and lateral layouts.