The San Francisco host committee came to the NFL owners meetings with a sparkly new stadium, a large metro area in a temperate climate that appeals to tourists and corporate types, and 28 years since the last time a Super Bowl was hosted in the Bay Area. Miami’s host committee came with some sentimental nonsense about their history with the Super Bowl (they’ve hosted 10 times, tied with New Orleans for the most among NFL cities, blah blah blah) along with an aging stadium no one wants to pay to fix up, Don Shula and Dan Marino.
Cheap joke alert!
Miami included Dan Marino in their Super Bowl bid presentation. Because when it comes to Super Bowls, Dan Marino immediately comes to mind.
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) May 21, 2013
After two quick votes, Marino went home a Super Bowl loser once again. San Francisco landed Super Bowl 50 in 2016, and Houston won the rights to host Super Bowl 51. But if you’re reading this, you probably don’t care one bit about Houston or Miami. So let’s try to lay out exactly what this is going to mean for the region, since things have changed quite a bit since a bowl-shaped stadium in Palo Alto without luxury suites was awarded the game.
Party in San Francisco
There was a lot of talk about how this was a joint effort between two sides of a REGION known as the Bay Area. Technically that’ll be true. But based on this photo of the San Francisco host committee’s headquarters at the league meeting posted by the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the 49ers’ group won Super Bowl 50 based on the stadium in Santa Clara and the everything else in San Francisco:
According to the artwork, the game will actually take place on the Golden Gate Bridge. My favorite is the picture of a football on a tee with the Golden Gate almost serving as uprights in the distance. Levi’s Stadium is 50 miles away from the iconic San Francisco landmark, but why let reality get in the way of a good pitch?
San Francisco can easily handle the increase in people and parties downtown; it seems like every week there’s some sort of tech event in or around the Moscone Center (which is probably where the “Super Bowl Experience” will take place). For a couple weeks it’s going to be nearly impossible to drive anywhere South of Market, but that’s pretty normal around here most of the time. It seems like they’ve been doing construction on nearly every street in that area for at least a couple years.
If you’re rich and planning on eating a dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant when the Super Bowl festivities are taking place, you should probably make a reservation now. Everything high-end, whether it’s dining establishments or fancy hotels, are going to get booked up — fast. Unlike in Miami, the Super Bowl festivities here are going to be considered new and exciting. Everyone is going to want to be a part of the action, and everything will get even more expensive than usual. The parties should be plentiful, with all the local wine, craft beer and spirits manufacturers fighting each other to get their libations poured.
I’m interested to see what downtown will look like. New Orleans had team shops all over the place selling t-shirts, hats, and other assorted souvenirs, and proud locals all seemed to be wearing Drew Brees jerseys. If the 49ers happen to make it to Super Bowl L, everyone from yuppies to Tenderloin crackheads are going to be wearing Colin Kaepernick’s No. 7. But unlike Nola, if the 49ers fall short, people in The City will focus on the scene, not their team.
As a result of the corporate/tourism windfall, the economy in San Francisco will benefit more in an economic sense than Santa Clara or San Jose. However, don’t be surprised if San Francisco also has to deal with a glut of protestors who are drawn to The City like moths to a lightbulb.
Business in Santa Clara
I’ve only attended one Super Bowl, the most recent one in New Orleans, and 95% of my travel during that week was done on foot (the only exceptions: a shuttle ride from media headquarters to the 49ers’ hotel and a couple cab rides late at night). The 2016 Super Bowl held in the Bay Area will be a different story.
Mark Purdy wrote that practices are likely to be held at Stanford and Cal, or Stanford and San Jose State. If it’s the latter pair, all media events will likely take place in the South Bay. That’s a big difference from New Orleans, where both team hotels were in the middle of town about a quarter mile apart. Levi’s Stadium will be the site of not just the game but Tuesday’s Media Day circus, which could get interesting if it rains. Luckily, it doesn’t rain much in Santa Clara (about three inches per month in January and February, on average).
Tickets! Anybody got tickets? Hello?
My wife and I were able to get tickets at face value two days before the game, but that still meant spending WAY more money than we should have, and led to my wife receiving a bag of flour instead of actual flowers on Valentine’s Day. In three years it’s only going to be more ridiculous, especially if the matchup is more exciting to the locals than 49ers/Ravens was to the people in Louisiana. If the 49ers somehow make it to the big game, forget watching in person unless you’re a millionaire or really enjoy being in debt for a decade.
Except … I do have an idea as to how I might be able to afford a couple seats. Since we have a bunch of relatives who live in the East Bay and the Peninsula, it might not be a bad idea to put our apartment on Airbnb and raise a little money that way. I’m working on potential ads.
One bedroom in a third-floor walkup. Up and coming neighborhood featuring many hipster-friendly cafes. Must be OK with moderate amounts of dog hair covering furniture and collecting in the corners of the entryway, bedroom and bathroom.
Rate: $2,000 per night (includes free Brita-filtered water in the refrigerator).
Hmmmm … now that I’ve had some time to examine the “opportunities” presented by San Francisco’s winning bid, I’m pretty excited about Jed York and his team landing the Super Bowl in 2016!