Over a million visitors, tens of millions in economic activity, plus a global spotlight to show off. These are the things a Super Bowl brings to a city. So why are so many people in San Francisco unhappy this week?
Because with all the good comes the bad traffic, extra security and, worst of all, corporate America. As corporate as San Francisco is, many locals still view it as a hotbed of resistance to "the man." (The truth is, housing prices drove out the real rebels to Oakland long ago.)
Super Bowl signs are being defaced with an only-in-San Francisco cheekiness. "Superb Owl" read one sign where someone moved around the letters. "Up R Bowel" read another. Common complaints about the traffic have reached a new level of frustration as street protests supporting the homeless have made traffic even worse.
"It's four days, come on! It's not that bad," said Dwight Clark, the legendary wide receiver who's amazing catch of a throw by Joe Montana sent the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl more than 30 years ago. "If you don't want to get into this mess, take public transit or something. It's easy to figure out."
Clark was standing by one of the corporate booths inside Super Bowl City, a ticket-only area which has taken over much of the Embarcadero. He was there as part of Chevron's "STEM zone." The Bay Area-based oil giant is using the Super Bowl to promote education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Chevron dissected Clark's famous catch using scientific principles. "Chevron is very passionate about STEM education, and we know that STEM careers are going to grow by 17 percent in the next two years," said Chevron engineer Stephanie Reeves.