San Francisco’s Superbowl City

[By Cathy McAuliffe in San Francisco] The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League. The day on which the Super Bowl is played, now considered by some an unofficial American national holiday, is called “Super Bowl Sunday”. It is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day. In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most-watched American television broadcast of the year. First played in 1967, this year will be the 50th Super Bowl. The number of the game has always been written in Roman numeral (Super Bowl X, etc.) this is the first, and last time that the game number is a number. Super Bowl L just didn’t have the same ring to it!

Super Bowl 50 is being played in San Francisco. Well actually it is being played in Santa Clara, which hosts Levi Stadium, home of the local team, the San Francisco 49ers and it is located 40 miles south of San Francisco. So the Super Bowl is not actually in the San Francisco but the fans coming to the Super Bowl are. So to keep everyone busy leading up to the game they have built something called Super Bowl City in front of the Ferry Building in SF. It is billed as: “free-to-the-public fan village designed to celebrate the milestone Super Bowl 50 and to highlight its unique place in the Bay Area”.

What they do not say is that it blocks off a large area of two main streets, The Embarcadero and Market Street, and necessitates re-routing of many bus lines and pretty much make a mess of driving in the city for 3 weeks. And public transit may be a mess also with regular commuters trying to get to work and the thousands of non-driving visitors using the system. Your best Super Bowl bet is – don’t go to San Francisco this week and if you do, don’t drive! Oh and one more thing, after a 3 year drought California is finally getting rain so on top of all the traffic snarls, wet weather may be thrown into the mix.

I went there as Super Bowl City was being setup. It was a massive project that has taken a week to build, will be up for a week and will take another week to dismantle. I may return for the dismantling process, but I plan to avoid the area while it is open.

Cathy McAuliffe is a Regional Correspondent for SF Bay Urban Sketchers. Also, see her Flickr page.

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