Oh, the good old days, when we thought that San Francisco would only be spending about 4 million in taxpayer bucks for the Super Bowl. It appears that at least one department seriously underestimated their costs, as the San Francisco Police Department now says they spent $3 million on overtime specifically on duties related to the event.
It was back in January that Mayor Ed Lee’s budget director Kate Howard sent a memo projecting city spending for the shindig. You can read the whole memo here, but the significant part for our purposes today is the estimate for additional SFPD services: $1.0-1.5 million, she wrote, presumably based on information she received from the department. All in all, she wrote, SF would spend about $4 million, with the expectation that tax revenues from the festivities "are expected to more than offset any local expenditures on events."
Following Howard's memo, the SFMTA realized that they'd underestimated their bill, which took us up to $4.6 million, and the tab kept on rising after that. And this is where I remind you that, as Jane Kim put it, Santa Clara "inked an agreement with the Host Committee that obligates the Host Committee to reimburse ALL Santa Clara City expenses associated with hosting Super Bowl 50." San Francisco had no such deal...in fact, we didn't even get a written contract at all.
And now SFPD's overtime bill for February has come in, and it's $7.6 million, CBS 5 reports. Compare that to February 2015, when it was $2.1 million, and February 2014, when SFPD OT was $1.7 million, and you'll start to see the issue.
SFPD Chief Greg Suhr tells the Chron that there were a number of factors leading to the Super Bowl OT bill. First, there were the terror attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, which Suhr says “came in after we made the bid, and kind of changed plans.”
Then, there were people. “Attendance was larger we had expected,” Suhr says. “We had to close the Super Bowl village twice for overcrowding."
And finally, there were the protests, as Suhr says "we did have more demonstrations than we anticipated.”
All those elements conspired to take SFPD's overtime costs to $2.9 million, Suhr estimates, “$700,000 of which we requested the federal government reimburse because they added extra security.”
All is not doom and gloom, perhaps, as we do know that hotels pulled in around $5.3 million more in taxes than in previous years, suggesting that we're not necessarily looking at an an America's Cup-level boondoggle. But even pro-SB 50 forces like SF's Chamber of Commerce sound a little worries, with VP James Lazarus telling the Chron that "the city’s costs are obviously significant...We need to see how much of those costs were general fund costs and how much will be paid by the airport or other revenues.”
“We’re still assessing the revenue we hope to generate, and what the real costs are, but news like this does certainly concern me about what other cost overruns there might have been,” Kim told CBS 5. We'll all know more in April, when the city controller’s office expects to release a full accounting of SF's Super Bowl 50 profits and losses.
Previously: San Francisco Will Spend Around $4 Million In Taxpayer Money On Super Bowl 50
SFMTA Forgets They Need To Direct Traffic, Ups SF Taxpayers' Super Bowl Bill
Santa Clara Getting $4 Million To Cover Super Bowl Costs, SF Gets Zero
Handshake Deal: How SF Scored The Super Bowl With No Written Agreement
Super Bowl Brought In $8 Million In SF Hotel Taxes