Pro/Con: Superbowl Blessing or Burden?

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Ashley Ticzon

Bring it on

By Ashley Ticzon

Sense the fear in the air? Bay Area residents are hyperventilating and are dialing 911 because the “worst” is finally about to come in four days … Super Bowl 50.

The immense crowds of fans flocking into the Bay Area have many worried. Rather than look at the negatives that Super Bowl 50 could possibly bring, look at the positives it will bring to the Bay Area. Trust me, Super Bowl 50 will not be as horrible as it has been imagined to be and will hopefully be a joyous time for all of us. The Bay Area will benefit from it and will be able to handle all the responsibilities that come with being the host city of Super Bowl 50.

For starters, many out of towners are coming in for the big game. Thus, they will be extremely excited and will want to spend money and will bring in a huge amount of cash flow to the businesses in the Bay Area.

Hotels in the Bay Area are able to jack up their rates due to the demand for rooms, which is good for the local economy. The Embassy Suites in San Jose, for example, will increase their prices to $409 during the week of the Super Bowl, compared to a few days after the game where the price will be $139.

Since this is the Super Bowl and a very special one, the 50th Anniversary, many celebrities will be around the Bay Area. You may even get the chance to run into one. A particular celebrity could be Beyoncé (and who can say no to Queen B?), who is performing at halftime with Coldplay. Furthermore, CBS is broadcasting the game. So, expect many of the stars from their shows to be featured on the Jumbotron or interviewed during the pregame (maybe the cast of “Big Bang Theory” will make an appearance).

Another issue that people have worried about is heavy traffic. However, many attendees will be able to use public transportation that will reduce traffic. Valley Transit Authority (VTA) and Caltrain are prepared to accommodate game attendees. Both agencies  have created special tickets just for the attendees on game day to take them to Levi’s Stadium. Fans can purchase the tickets on the VTA’s mobile app, EvenTik. Some of the excited fans will also be able to use shuttles and buses to get to the game.

The Super Bowl has also received backlash from soccer families in the community. This controversy stems from the NFL deciding to use their field as a media center. To some this may seem that the city has put the needs of the Super Bowl before its citizens. However, the judge decided in favor of the NFL because the deal to use the field was created back in 2013. Yes, the NFL should have communicated better with the soccer community, but it is important to remember that this is not an issue of morality. A deal is a deal.

If the soccer field issue is still bothering you, part of the deal is that the NFL must restore the field to as good of condition it was before or even better. In addition, the Earthquakes have offered to allow the soccer team to use their field at Avaya Stadium, so all is well.

The Super Bowl does have a dark side that comes along with it, which is human trafficking. This is a concern for everyone in our neighborhood, so the Bay Area has been working hard to take action to prevent it. Last May, the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition led a Freedom Summit conference that was attended by local and congressional officials, survivors, and residents of the Bay Area, in order to raise awareness about human trafficking. Bay Area airports have also been training for over a year on how to spot a victim of human trafficking. Airport workers also received an app that allows them to alert authorities of any suspicious activities.

The Hotel Council of San Francisco and hospitality organizations have met with law enforcement and the Super Bowl Committee  in order to prepare hotel staffs on spotting human trafficking. Furthermore, for the first time ever before the game, the FBI has been working closely with local anti-human trafficking groups.

Security will be on high alert in the wake of the San Bernardino and Paris terror attacks. Homeland Security and the FBI have been working with local law enforcement for two months to plan for the event. The NFL will close down Tasman Drive starting February 1 for security precautions and planning; it’s clear that the NFL planning a Super Bowl in the wake of terrorist activities is well prepared. So as the days get closer to the Super Bowl, don’t be surprised to see several FBI agents and security guards around.

Super Bowl 50 will be an exciting time of celebration for the Bay Area. Though the Bay Area has taken on a great responsibility for being the host city of the Super Bowl, there are great advantages to being the host and the Bay Area will be able to meet expectations seamlessly. So, calm your fears and put down the phone because Super Bowl 50 is coming, whether you like it or not.

 

It’s not Worth it

By Erika Ackley

You’re going downtown, planning to hit up your favorite place to eat for a well deserved dinner, when you discover that the place is filled to the brim with an unusual amount of people and there’s a wait time that is sure to put a damper on your night.  

Whether you realize it or not, the Super Bowl will be here in a couple of days, Feb. 7 to be exact, and it’s not just the game itself that’s going to cause problems . From parties and galas to Super Bowl city and opening night, enormous crowds will rule the day. And to top it all off, this year is the 50th anniversary, giving even more reason for this championship game to be a nationwide party, with the center of it being right here in the Bay Area.

The festivities are already in full swing, and the “Run the Road to the Super Bowl 50” race that happened just a few weeks ago is enough to prove it. “This is a national and international event. And football is just part of it,” says executive vice-president of the Super Bowl Host committee Pat Gallagher. “The Bay Area’s never seen anything like this. Ready or not, here we come.”

If you think that you’re making it out of this crazy Super Bowl month unfazed and unaffected then you might want to think again.

Super Bowl city, which opened on Jan 30, is located on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. This fan fest zone includes games and activities for all things Super Bowl. It will also be “home to daily CBS broadcasts and a whole bunch of interactive booths” says SFGATE. However, according to abc7 news, the partial street closures in the areas surrounding Super Bowl city, which will occur for nearly three weeks, will create a traffic havoc and an inconvenience for residents due to the amount of security.

With massive amounts of people flying, or driving in for the Super Bowl, hotels are taking advantage and have already begun to double and triple their prices. So if you were looking for a place for your relative or a fun night’s stay in a hotel with your friends, then you’ll definitely be paying a pretty hefty price, no matter what location you choose in the Bay.

The extensive amount of crowds mean lots of people everywhere along with traffic buildups. What you thought would be a quick drive through downtown will now be long and tedious due to the amount of people crossing streets to get to pre-parties, the game itself, and other events occurring throughout the week. Your favorite restaurants or food stops will also be jammed packed. Cooking an elaborate five-course meal would probably take less time than waiting in line for a table.

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched TV events all year. With that amount of anticipation, media is key throughout all of the various Superbowl events. The city agreed to allow for a media camp to be set up on the soccer fields that neighbor Levi’s Stadium. But according to Mercury News, with the NFL using the fields for over two months, the takeover will affect over 250 youth soccer games and leave the fields in unplayable conditions, causing additional closure for repairs.

This media camp is one of the many demands made by the NFL for the host city, and due to this hundreds of children will be without a place to practice and play for months. According to Gautam Dutta, the youth’s league attorney, “The temporary replacement field the city found won’t do because it’s not regulation size, nor is it open on weekends. Soccer parents worry that home games will either be forfeited or will be played at the opposing team’s venue.”

The most noticeable effects of the Superbowl come directly from the hands of the NFL itself. A list by SB NATION revealed the extravagant demands made by the NFL for the host city, many at no cost. The extensive use of  local police force as escorts and anti-counterfeit enforcement draws many officers away from their day to day jobs of enforcement in our local communities.

In addition, the use of exclusive rooms in top hotels across the bay at no cost forces the cities themselves to pay for their stay and occupies much needed hotel space. Lastly, the NFL demands exemption from all taxes and all revenue from sales to the game, essentially leaving the host city at a loss with hardly any income at all.

Hosting the Super Bowl may put our city, none the less the bay on the map. But in the end does the fame outweigh the economic shortcomings and wide-ranging effects on the community?