Reporting Mark Seelig
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — While most San Francisco police officers assigned to Saturday’s 49ers playoff game will be in uniform, the department said some won’t be so easy to spot.
The department said they are beefing up security for the game against the Green Bay Packers, and with more than 70,000 fans expected to attend, it’s no surprise.
“There will be some tailgating so most of our resources will be focused on the parking lots and the outlying neighborhoods, but as the game progresses we’ll shift our resources from the parking lot to inside the ballpark,” said Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak.
According to Andraychak, some officers will be in regular street attire while others will be wearing jerseys from either team.
After the game, Andraychak said officers will spread out and look for drunk drivers. He advised fans attending Saturday’s game to look for a designated driver now or simply leave the car at home.
“There are lots of public transit officers, and our officers assigned to the MTA [Municipal Transportation Agency], who will be working both the bus loop and the Third Street light rail to make sure folks have safe passage,” he added.
This isn’t the first season San Francisco police employed the disguise method at Candlestick Park. Andraychak said they just want every fan to have a good time and to not have to fear for their safety.
Muni spokesman Paul Rose said express buses and special event fares on buses and light-rail vehicles will be available for fans heading to the stadium Saturday.
He said the parking lot gates open at 1 p.m. and the stadium doors will open at 3 p.m.
“We are encouraging fans to take public transit and carpool,” Rose said.
For those opting to drive on game day, the transit agency is advising motorists to expect delays two hours before and after the game on area bridges and on U.S. Highway 101 near Candlestick Park, Rose said.
Ahead of the game, the city is sporting its home team pride with the 49ers team flag hanging from the mayor’s balcony at City Hall, and Coit Tower, City Hall and the Embarcadero Center buildings shining red and gold.
The Embarcadero Center will illuminate 1,700 red and gold lights starting Friday night until midnight. The lights will be switched on every day at 5 p.m. until the 49ers season ends, either in defeat or with a Super Bowl victory.
The 49ers had a first-round bye in the playoffs after finishing the regular season as the NFC’s No. 2 seed.
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