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The Super Bowl Festivities Might Wreak Havoc on Your Commute

You might want to plan on working from home in February.


After Mayor Lee’s provocative comment that the homeless “have to leave” during the Super Bowl, we assumed that sweeping the city’s more than 6,000 homeless residents under the rug was a sufficient amout of upheaval in advance of the big game. But we were wrong! The Super Bowl Committee is exploring taking down some of the Muni wires at Market Street and the Embarcadero, the site of the temporary Super Bowl City. If it comes to pass, the plan could potentially disrupt some bus lines and the F-Market streetcar “for weeks,” the Examiner reports. February is going to bring one epic Super Bowl party, because no one is going to be able to get to work.

We emailed Super Bowl Committee spokesperson Stephanie Martin for comment and have not heard back yet. Martin told the Examiner, “I don’t know about any of those plans. The only thing we have to do is that Market Street will be closed from Beale down to the foot of Market.” Reached by phone, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose told San Francisco, “My understanding is nothing’s been finalized.”

Super Bowl City will open on Justin Herman Plaza and the Embarcadero’s median on January 30, a week before the February 7 Super Bowl. The celebratory pop-up, which will kick off with the re-illumination of the Bay Lights, is expected to bring more than a million visitors over eight days. Its official logo incorporates the shapes of the Ferry Building, the Bay Bridge, and Coit Tower, which is funny, because apparently its very existence will make it pretty difficult to travel between those three landmarks. 

We’re not totally sure what’s happening at Super Bowl City that would cause Muni wires to interfere. A parade? That was one political observer’s tentative guess—but in that case, why not start the proceedings at Steuart Street like the Giants gamely do every other year? 

If the wires do come down, the Examiner’s unnamed sources estimate, the whole thing could cost “a seven-figure number.” Bus lines that could face disruption include the 6 Parnassus, 31-Balboa, and 21-Hayes. And, of course, the F-Market, whose regular riders already put up with a level of unreliability that would make even the most patient football fan scream. 

Plus, how are all those Super Bowl revelers meant to get out to Fisherman’s Wharf to buy their San Francisco sweatshirts? Please don’t say “Central Subway.”


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