Echoing some of the back-and-forth that happened leading up to the 2013 America's Cup, several of SF's Board of Supervisors are continuing to voice concerns about how much of the bill for the upcoming Super Bowl the city will be footing, and how much we'll really be getting in return. Granted the Super Bowl is a much more high-profile and watched event than that rich peoples' boat race Larry Ellison sold us on a few years back, but will we see the hundreds of millions of dollars in tourist and tax revenue that we're promised in exchange for all the heightened security and disruption of public transportation?
That's basically what Supervisors Malia Cohen and Jane Kim were trying to get a handle on in a scheduled hearing Monday of the Board's Land Use and Economic Development Committee, as the Examiner reports. Originally this was going to be the hearing in which they discussed the Super Bowl Host Committee's plan to remove all the overhead Muni wires downtown so that their Super Bowl fan village would look prettier, but that plan has already been scrapped, likely because it was too expensive.
At Monday's hearing, Cohen was reportedly irritated that department reps Capt. Tim Falvey of the SFPD and Peter Albert of the SFMTA were unable to bring cost estimates to the meeting as had been requested. Thus, less than two months from the event, it's unclear what extra police and all the Muni rerouting, etc, will cost the city.
Kim referred to the Super Bowl as "an event that is primarily marketing and promoting a corporate event and institution," and said she felt that taxpayers wanted the city spending its money on homelessness, affordable housing, and public transit instead.
The Super Bowl Committee, in addition to temporary jobs and millions in revenues, promise "the eyes of the world will be on San Francisco for that entire nine-day celebratory period," adding, "You simply cannot buy that type of exposure.” Do we need any more exposure, though? This isn't Toledo.
Whether we like it or not, though, the Super Bowl comes to town next month, with the fan villlage taking over the foot of Market Street and all of Justin Herman Plaza and the surrounding area from January 30 to February 7. At least a dozen Muni lines will be impacted, and no doubt BART will just be more of a mess than usual as Game Day approaches.