Super Bowl to stay in the Bay – yea or nay?
It has been only one week since the Super Bowl jamboree, and Bay Area cities are already talking about the next one coming to town.
Bay Area cities dolled up for the week long festivities for Super Bowl 50 which came to the area on Feb. 7, leaving many residents either excited or upset. In the aftermath of Super Bowl 50, mayors of San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Jose are already looking forward to bringing back the Super Bowl or other big-time events, like the Olympics or World Cup, to the Bay in the near future. There are polarized views on whether or not this may be a good thing to repeat.
Pros to repeats:
Bay Area city mayors want to bring big events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics to the area simply because it will bring big money. Many football fans came to the game despite the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers being known for their fans not traveling well to away games.
Super Bowl 50 was one of the most expensive football games to watch with nosebleed seats averaging at $4,800 on Stub Hub. According to Forbes, the most expensive ticket price was $27,983 for the Lower Prime Club.
From a city’s perspective, hosting the Super Bowl is ideal for bringing in big cash. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city of San Francisco paid $5 million towards Super Bowl City “ and that it was worth every nickel, as the tourist industry raked in countless millions more.” Business — hotels, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, etc. — revenues boomed during the first week of February.
In addition, skyscraper buildings in San Francisco and San Jose sold sides of their buildings for advertisements. Many commuters found it hard not to notice the large Oracle advertisement on the side of the Pizarro building in San Jose.
Besides revenue coming in, the San Francisco sky line was also advertised throughout the four hour Super Bowl 50 broadcasting. The Wall Street Journal reported that 111.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the game on CBS, making this Super Bowl the third most watched show ever.
The Bay Area snagged the Super Bowl with the most festivities because it was the 50th anniversary. Professional athletes ranging from current stars to old-time greats came out to partake in the celebrations. High-profile celebrities like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys were spotted in the Bay and performed before or at the game.
Because of media attention and revenue that the Super Bowl generated for businesses, Bay Area mayors are planning on working together to host the Super Bowl again alongside other major sporting events.
Cons for repeat:
While many people were excited to have the NFL bring the Super Bowl to Northern California, it also caused uproar among residents.
People in the Bay Area care about their communities and will vocalize about injustices. Protests broke out against the city of San Francisco displacing its homeless population to make way for Super Bowl City along Market Street in the Financial District.
Protesters demanded the city of San Francisco invest $5 million for housing for its homeless population. In a New York Times article, when some residents saw the homeless population being swept out of view, they felt that their city “sold itself to corporate interests.”
Many Bay Area residents felt the environment was hostile walking near Super Bowl City due to the heavy security. Walking into Super Bowl City required going through metal detectors and having bags searched. Heavily armed police officers were either perching on building rooftops or scouring the streets with semi-automatic rifles.
According to KTVU news, city police forces, as well as the FBI and Homeland Security, were prepared in case of a terrorist act. Because the event was thought to bring in an estimated 10 million people, and considering the recent attacks at San Bernardino and Paris, France, security was significantly heightened compared to other years.
As riot-geared officers patrolled Market Street, many residents felt fearful and upset, thus continuing protests against police brutality. In recent years, with the killings of unarmed Black civilians by police officers, especially the recent killing of Mario Woods, Bay Area residents have been protesting against police brutality and for changes to be made in the justice system.
On Jan. 30, the opening day of Super Bowl City, hundreds of protestors marched for Mario Woods as they headed towards the entrance, only to be stopped by police officers in gas masks. More “Justice 4 Mario Woods” protests continued throughout the Super Bowl week. To many Bay Area residents, the increase in police patrolling Super Bowl City did not provide protection — it heightened fear and anger.
Bay Area fans can sigh in relief to know that the Super Bowl won’t come back for a while. Super Bowls are typically played in newly built stadiums. The next one is expected to be at the new Rams and Chargers joint stadium in Inglewood, California. If the city of Oakland decides to build a new stadium for the Raiders, then Bay Area fans can expect the NFL back in the Bay sooner rather than later.