The Super Bowl: A Super Big Pain

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Nicole RejerNicole Rejer is a freshman psychology major.

Even though the Super Bowl is happening about 50 miles south of San Francisco–in the brand new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara–its presence can be felt all throughout the Bay Area. Walking around downtown, seeing all the Super Bowl signs and advertisements, and then having a huge Super Bowl City right in the center of downtown, people may even think that the Super Bowl will be held in San Francisco. Not surprisingly, many people oppose hosting so many festivities in our city (especially since we aren’t going to be reimbursed), and the frustration can be seen by retaliation that has manifested itself in different ways.

The Super Bowl statues have been put up in various areas around the city, including in the Embarcadero and in front of City Hall. But the one in Alamo Square experienced so much vandalism that it had to be taken down. It was constantly defaced and knocked over, and when it was removed in late January, none of the residents or tourists were sad to see it go.

The truth is, hosting the pre and post Super Bowl festivities has completely changed the city’s dynamic. Yes, it’s great for tourism and attracting people to the city, and provides a lot of business for hotels, restaurants, and other attractions. But San Francisco is already quite small and very crowded, even with the usual amount of tourists. Add in everybody coming in for the Super Bowl and you’ve got crazy congestion and traffic almost everywhere you go.

The Super Bowl has changed so many aspects of this city; it has closed down different streets, made downtown almost impossible to get around in, and even changed different bus lines–all of which won’t be returning to normal until at least a week after the Super Bowl ends. San Francisco is a very busy city, and it is no wonder that people are feeling the stress of America’s biggest Sunday event coming to their town. San Francisco officials will stop at nothing in order to clean up the city and make it presentable to tourists. They’ve even cleaned up homeless encampments all throughout the city, moving them from under freeways and out of the main tourist attractions.

Since San Franciscans are being pushed out of the city faster and faster, and rent is rising exponentially, I don’t believe many people are in the mood to be a part of one of the most ostentatious events in the country. And the Super Bowl isn’t even being held in San Francisco, which makes all this seem a bit unnecessary. The good news is that the Super Bowl will be over in a few days, and then it won’t be in San Francisco again for at least a couple of years. Keep your heads up San Franciscans, it will all be over soon!

Photo courtesy of Alan Moris/Flickr

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