Shaded Seats at Oracle Park
Oracle Park is the current name of the San Francisco Giants home ballpark. It opened in 2000 and was previously known as Pacific Bell Park, SBC Park, and AT&T Park. Despite its frequently changing name, it’s considered among the most beautiful MLB parks, with the famous McCovey Cove beyond the right field wall. It’s also a stadium that gets splashed with the California sun. This guide will help Giants fans identify the best Oracle Park shaded seats.
Oracle Park Orientation to the Sun
Home plate at Oracle Park faces due east. If the Giants ever played a game in the morning, hitters would look directly into the sun. Obviously, morning games aren’t on the schedule; however, the stadium receives plenty of sunshine, some areas more than others, so it’s important to pick seats based on where the Bay Area sun is located throughout the day.
The graphic below shows the approximate location of the sun throughout the day on July 1st (halfway through the MLB season).
Where are the shaded seats at Oracle Park?
As a general rule, the seats in the shade at Oracle Park are located:
- In sections along the 1st baseline
- Farther back in one of those sections or in a row that’s under cover
- In the back half of the 200-level club sections
The Giants keep a somewhat unusual schedule compared to other teams. Most night games start at 6:45 p.m., although they like to push Friday night home games back to 7:15. Meanwhile, if they play a day game on Saturday or Sunday, it usually starts at 1:05. On getaway days in the middle of the week, day games at Oracle Park start at 12:45.
Seats in the Shade at Giants 12:45 or 1:05 games
For an early afternoon game at Oracle Park in the summer, the sun will approach its highest point right around the time of the first pitch. This makes it difficult to find shade, especially if you like to sit close to the field.
The best place to avoid the sun at this time of day is the 200-level. Sections 202-234, which are all located in foul territory, are small sections with less than 15 rows each. However, these sections sit under the overhang from the upper deck. This helps create shade for most of the seats in this section regardless of the time of day, but especially seats in the back half of the section. The same principle applies to 100-level and 300-level seats in the back rows of sections in foul territory, as they will also have a small overhang above them. However, only the last few rows of these sections will receive any shade at this time of day.
As the game moves along and the sun shifts west, more seats along the 1st baseline will start to come into the shade. Seats farther back in the 200-level and 300-level will experience shade with the sun at their back first, especially if they are relatively close to home plate. Meanwhile, any seat beyond the outfield wall will be exposed to the sun throughout the game without any protection. Most seats along the 3rd baseline will also spend most or all of the game in the sun unless they are in the 200-level or directly beneath an overhang. Some seats along the 3rd baseline may get some shade by the late innings if they are close enough to home plate. But large sections of the 3rd base side of Oracle Park will remain in direct sunlight.
Seats in the Shade at Giants 6:45 or 7:15 games
Sunset in San Francisco isn’t until 8:30 p.m. or later during the summer months. That means at least an hour or more of sunlight will blanket the field and stands at Oracle Park. The good news is that the sun starts the game behind home plate, putting large sections of the park in the shade.
For night games, sections 130-144 are the most vulnerable to the sun. These are the sections beyond the left and center field walls and deep in the left field corner near the foul pole. Sections 101-103 and 145-152 in right field and the adjacent corner could also have some issues with the sun. But the rest of the stadium should have minimal problems with the sun between the start of the game and when the sun sets.
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Enjoy the game!