Super Bowl: San Francisco police prep for 49er fans, crowds
Officials have identified certain spots of the city where crowds could gather — The Mission, South of Market, Marina and North Beach districts — and will dispatch extra patrols to those areas as needed, said Officer Albie Esparza, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department.
The preparations come after rowdy fans flooded city streets when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in October. Three dozen people were arrested as bonfires were set, cars were overturned and a city bus was set ablaze.
Esparza said the October celebrations were a consideration in plans the city made this time. Multiple agencies are taking precautions, he said — trash will be collected early to help prevent fires in the street and buses will run on diesel to allow better route flexibility.
There will also be a zero-tolerance policy for public consumption of alcohol, Esparza said.
"The message we're trying to send," Esparza said, "is come to San Francisco, have a great time, support your 49ers, but do so responsibly."
At a news conference last week, Mayor Ed Lee outlined some of the steps the city would take in preparation for Sunday’s game. Lee said he and Police Chief Greg Suhr would tour parts of the city hit hard by the destruction that followed the World Series win and talk to businesses about precautions they could take.
One of the Lee's recommendations was that bars "serve something (other) than heavy alcohol during times of celebration, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
"That inebriation sometimes doesn't help with people who want to maybe go beyond the bounds of acceptability in their celebration," he told reporters.
Lee's staff later emphasized that the city would not ban hard alcohol during the game. Spokeswoman Christine Falvey told the Chronicle the mayor was "just suggesting that all business owners serve responsibly, and most businesses do."
— Kate Mather
Photo: San Francisco Giants fans celebrate a World Series sweep in October. Credit: Noah Berger / Associated Press