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Tailgate Timing For A 49ers Game

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baranda 20120916 162432 2301 Tailgate Timing For A 49ers Game

Enjoy a 49ers tailgate with some simple planning (Credit: Alex Baranda)

For San Francisco 49ers players and tailgaters alike, timing is everything. For instance, quarterback Alex Smith’s timing must be perfect if he wants his passes to be caught. For tailgaters at Candlestick Park, perfect timing can make the difference between their 49ers experience being celebrated or being sacked.

Timing comes into play even before you arrive at The Stick. For the ideal tailgating experience, plan on arriving as early as possible. After all, you don’t want to miss the fun, do you?

The stadium’s interior parking lot opens four hours before kickoff. At that time, you can pick any available parking space.

If you get to the interior parking lot within the two-hour window before kickoff, stadium staffers will direct you to what’s essentially an assigned spot. You also must arrive at least two hours ahead of kickoff if you and your fellow tailgaters normally set up in the same row or area of the interior parking lot. This rule applies to every vehicle in your tailgating group.

Since you’re not allowed to tailgate after kickoff, you’ll want to leave plenty of time to pack up your tailgating gear and goodies. The 49ers strongly encourage fans get to the ticket gates at least 75 minutes before kickoff. Do the math, and you’ll realize you’ve got less than three hours for tailgating if you get to The Stick when the interior parking lot first opens.

So, you stuffed yourself during pregame tailgate and you cheered on the 49ers, win or lose. Now, you’re ready to head home. But how do you avoid post-game traffic tie-ups? Well, you could leave a little early, especially if the 49ers are getting trounced. However, if you want to stick it out at The Stick, the 49ers offer these driving tips.

Traveling east

Save yourself from post-game traffic frustration by going northbound on U.S. Highway 101 through the city by using Third Street or northbound Interstate 280.

If you want to reach Bay Bridge from Gilman or Carroll Avenues, make your way into the right lane. At Third Street, take a right and continue for about four miles going northbound. Turn right at Harrison Street and follow the signs to the Bay Bridge.

To reach Bay Bridge from Harney Way, make your way into the left lane. Go north on 101 for about one mile and then take the 280 North exit. Use the Sixth Street exit and follow the Bay Bridge street signs.

Traveling north

Save yourself from post-game frustration by going northbound on U.S. Highway 101 through the city by using Third Street or northbound Interstate 280.

In order to reach northbound 280, get in the far left lane of Harney Way heading north for about one mile. Then take the 280 North exit toward downtown San Francisco.

To reach northbound 280 from Gilman or Carroll Avenues, get into the right lane of either street. At Third Street, take a right heading north and then turn left at Palou Avenue, Evans Avenue or Cesar Chavez (Army) Street. Follow the signs to 280 North.

Traveling west

Save yourself from post-game congestion by going southbound on U.S. Highway 101 to State Route 92 West by taking 280.

Stay in the left lane of Harney way to reach southbound 280. Go north on 101 for a mile or so and then take the 280 South exit for Daly City.

To reach southbound 280 from Gilman or Carroll Avenues, move into the right lane of either street. At Third Street, turn right (toward downtown). Head north on Third Street and turn left at Palou Avenue, Evans Avenue or Cesar Chavez (Army) Street. Follow the signs to 280 North.

Traveling south

To save yourself from post-game congestion, go southbound on U.S. Highway 101 by taking the 280 South exit.

Stay in the left lane of Harney Way to reach southbound 280. Continue on 101 north for about a mile and then take the 280 South exit for Daly City.

To reach 280 southbound from Gilman or Carroll Avenues, move into the right lane of either street. At Third Street, turn right (toward downtown). Head north on Third Street and take a left at either Palou Avenue, Evans Avenue or Cesar Chavez (Army) Street. Follow the signs to 280 South

Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.

John Egan is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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