Things that happen when your city hosts a Super Bowl:
- There's a fair amount of extra traffic on the roads.
The one-hour trek on Highway 101 down the Peninsula to the South Bay might stretch to two hours next week. The Embarcadero and Market Street closures near Super Bowl City, the fan village, are causing painfully slow trips around San Francisco's Ferry Building. Already-jammed BART and Caltrain parking lots could fill by 6 a.m. And 600 or more charter buses will be used to carry fans to the Feb. 7 game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
- Everybody is visiting San Francisco, even though the game isn't played there.
While the game is in Santa Clara, nine days of activities leading up to the game are in San Francisco. That means transportation impacts from January 23 to February 12. Whether you're visiting, working or a resident, plan ahead, pack your patience and take transit, bike or walk where you need to go.
- There are special events, both free, and paid, which you can go to.
Super Bowl City presented by Verizon is the Host Committee’s free-to-the-public fan village designed to celebrate the milestone Super Bowl 50 and to highlight its unique place in the Bay Area.
The NFL Experience driven by Hyundai, pro football’s interactive theme park, will be hosted by the Bay Area during Super Bowl Week. To be located at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the NFL Experience celebrates the sport’s history and electrifying atmosphere of Super Bowl.
- Some of the events are so popular that you can't get in.
San Francisco police turned away thousands of people from Super Bowl City late Friday when the event reached maximum capacity.
- It's hard to find a hotel room.
"We're starting at $1,500 for the regular rooms, suites go up to $10,000 a night and we have a four day minimum that we require," said Roger Huldi, the General Manager at the W Hotel.
- But maybe you can rent somebody's spare bedroom, cheap.
There are simply too many rooms and not enough guests. "You get a flood of people listing their places and nobody looks at it," says Ian McHenry, a co-founder of research firm Beyond Pricing, which sells rental hosts a service to help calculate how much they should charge. "There’s way too much supply in the market." Of the nearly 10,000 currently active Airbnb listings in the Bay Area this weekend, around 60 percent are still available, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
- There's been a significantly-noticable increase in the number of private charter jets flying in and out.
Private jet companies say this year's game could near or top records for previous Super Bowls, given the attractive location, large number of private jet airports in the area and the excitement over the game.
Companies say business is up between 10 and 20 percent over last year. And while consolidated numbers are hard to come by, experts estimate between 1,000 and 1,500 jets could arrive at Oakland, San Jose, Hayward and other California airports.
- But, uhm, don't try to fly your drone.
“Temporary Flight Restrictions will prohibit certain aircraft operations, including unmanned aircraft operations, within a 32-mile radius of the stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on game day,” reads a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Everyone who's anyone will be there: Jet-setters swooping into Bay Area for Super Bowl 50.
Usually, about a half-dozen private jets might use Panico’s facility at any one time. This weekend, there could be as many as 200. While their owners are attending the modest little sporting event just down the Nimitz Freeway, the planes will be parked wingtip to wingtip. So many $50 million jets will be slumming it in Hayward that the airport will shut down one runway and turn it into a temporary parking lot.
- The weather cooperates, and is just unbelievably nice.
Plentiful sunshine. High 73F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
- There's plenty of other entertainment. (My co-worker's son is the drummer for the Latin Youth Jazz Ensemble!)
For the musically inclined, there are several acts lined up in the Bay Area to get you ready for the game. Performing at the City Stage in San Francisco on Sunday will be the Latin Youth Jazz Ensemble (3 p.m. ET), John Brothers Piano Company (3:45 p.m. ET) and the Glide Ensemble (5 p.m. ET).
- All the media companies have been busy crafting their advertisements.
Super Bowl ads are practically an event unto themselves. And when they unfold on the screen this Sunday, viewers will see a reflection of America's diversity.
While Hollywood faces a backlash over an all-white slate of acting nominees for this year’s Oscars, several of the TV spots airing during the big game will feature actors, athletes and characters who represent a range of ethnicity, generations, and sexual orientations.
- The Goodyear Blimp spends all week flying around the area.
"We're getting the beauty shots for the networks," said the photographer. "You know, downtown, sunsets."
And what do they get in exchange? Priceless advertising seen by millions of fans from the ground and from their living rooms.
- And, of course, at some point during the day there will be a football game of sorts.
Have fun, everyone! I think I'll be reading my newspaper and grilling ribs, although I'm sure I'll tune it for the ads.