Taxpayer Subsidized Super Bowl

We received a text about Super Bowl vandalism an hour or so ago and then pretty much chased that meme down into the Super Bowl preparedness rabbit hole, were we tripped over the following:

…the document which, it was revealed in January, allowed the NFL to roll into San Francisco and rack up a $5.3 million (and, as of press time, growing) bill for city-provided police, transit, and cleanup services.

After all, for these same services, the city of Santa Clara — which is hosting the game at Levi’s Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers’ new $1.3 billion privately funded palace — managed to secure $3.6 million up front from the Super Bowl Host Committee, the collection of local civic and business leaders tasked with bringing the Big Game to the Bay Area.

With still-fresh memories of the 2013 America’s Cup, when the so-called “Super Bowl of yachting” arrived with promises of a cash bonanza but set sail after sticking local taxpayers with a $11.5 million bill, they’re fair questions: Why couldn’t San Francisco do the same? And who’s responsible for this particular fumble?…

Lee exited the supervisors’ chambers without ever answering Peskin, whose attempt to ask a follow-up — the same question as before, actually — was rebuffed by Board of Supervisors President London Breed…

Far from a “public subsidy” for the country’s richest professional sports organization, as a budget analysts’ report called it, being Super Bowl City comes with free concerts and free events, a gift for the public.

Of course there’s more…

As taxpayer costs related to Super Bowl City continue to increase, we learn today that at least one city department is working hard to keep expenses off the books. SFMTA officials, it seems, have asked employees to “volunteer” as “ambassadors” for Super Bowl City. This “volunteering” would be done during work hours, on the clock, and the employees would be paid by SFMTA. Costs associated with this volunteer work are not included in city officials’ $5.3 million (and growing) estimated bill to taxpayers for Super Bowl 50 celebrations, however, allowing overall costs to appear lower than they really are.

Add some “needed” surveillance…

New cameras, to be precise, aimed at the street between First Street and the Embarcadero, the area that will in a few weeks be closed down to traffic to make way for the Super Bowl and the “Super Bowl City” “fan village”…

They’re not even “security cameras” — they’re traffic cameras, according to SFTMA spokesman Paul Rose, and are meant to keep an eye on buses and trains, not people. Nevertheless, privacy advocates aren’t convinced, and fear the cameras could fall victim to mission creep…

“If these cameras are solely for traffic purposes, there needs to be an enforceable policy that strictly limits their use for that purpose,” said Matt Cagle, policy attorney for technology and civil liberties at the American Civil Liberties Union. “The risk here, as with so many other surveillance technologies, is that the cameras will remain up after the Super Bowl is long over, and will be used for purposes beyond just traffic control.”

There will be no unsightly bums on display…

People living on our streets are at high risk for pneumonia or of dying from exposure. On a recent outreach, our volunteer reported that everyone she came in contact with was drenched and so were their belongings. She could not help but notice a lot of people were barefoot or wearing soaked socks.
The Super Bowl is around the corner, and so sweeps are even more common than usual. According to one dripping young woman, the Department of Public Works and the police did a sweep of her encampment at 4th and Harrison at 6am — during the downpour. She and her group were told that they need to “move along” until after the Stupid Bowl events and that an area that is considered a “safe zone” is at Bryant and 7th, which so happens to be the location of the county jail.

Meanwhile a bunch of dry areas have been fenced off in the past two weeks. They are under freeways, away from businesses and residential areas, but off limits to those seeking shelter. In the middle of the rains, there are empty spaces where large encampments were just last week, enclosed with fences topped with razor blades. Meanwhile most homeless people are asking and searching for where they can go without getting harassed. That seems to be the question of the month.

Seriously! No homeless during the Super Bowl!

Mayor Ed Lee told the homeless they “have to leave” for the Super Bowl. Join the Coalition on Homelessness as we protest the mayor’s unjust plan and demand immediate housing for our city’s unhoused residents. Meet up is at 4:30 in front of Sinbad’s on Embacadero next to the Ferry Building. We are going to set up a tent city, with plenty of visuals next to the superbowl city. Bring signs and banners and cardboard cut-outs of houses. And bring tents if you don’t mind them getting confiscated. 1

Homeless Statistics:
◦ There’s 1 shelter bed for every 6 homeless
◦ There’s an 8,000 person long wait for housing
◦ 3,300 Children make up SF’s homeless
◦ 61% have disabilities
◦ 11,000 citations were given to homeless for resting in SF last year

Superbowl-Related Statistics:
◦ 25% of the costs for Superbowl ads would be enough to end homelessness in SF (Each 30-second Superbowl ad costs 5 million.)
◦ The $5 million cost to SF to host the Superbowl would house 500 homeless people.
◦ SFPD is responsible for clearing out homeless people for the Super Bowl by giving them citations which are already up 30% from last year.

And finally, the totally in tune with the rabble response:

Yes, yes, the homeless are being herded, the skyscrapers defaced, our streets are clogged, and our tax money is being wasted. But you wanna know the worst thing about the Super Bowl plopping its nacho-stained Walmart sweatpants down on our fair city? The horrific “official parties.” They are so awful!

Look, when Coldplay is your halftime act it can only go downhill from there, but I didn’t think it could go this far down. We are entering a bottomless pit of tacky that literally gouges my eyeballs into black holes of abhorrence with each successive Facebook invitation. My Bizarro World favorite so far? The 2016 Maxim Party, “in a class all its own as the #1 most sought after event. Maxim is creating a premium ultra lounge featuring: concert sound, theatrical lighting & effects, full LED video walls and risers for exclusive VIP Tables on different levels.”

GUYS THEY ARE GONNA HAVE TABLES ON DIFFERENT LEVELS! Where will the innovation end? VIP tables (on different levels!) run you $8,500 — $25,000. Oh, and Paul McCartney might be there. Thanks for ruining everything!

The Charles household has no interest in the upcoming festivities 2, instead we will be hosting a Girl Scout trivia party for the Astas’ troop.

On Iowa

Show 2 footnotes

  1. The FB page.
  2. Except as our own superstitious predictor of the upcoming elections…

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