SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP / BCN) — A spirit of hope and anticipation across San Francisco rapidly deteriorated Sunday to sullen disappointment after the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.
In the city’s Mission District, which had been the center of celebrations — and violence — after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last fall, disappointed fans stumbled out of bars after the 34-31 loss.
“Damn, that’s all I have to say,” said Niners fan David Mejia, 32, of San Francisco.
As the game drew to an end, dozens of police officers and sheriff’s deputies fanned out on foot, motorcycles and patrol cars. A patrol helicopter hovered above, watching for signs of trouble. More than 400 SFPD officers were on duty, triple the usual number of officers working on a Sunday, police said.
The city had braced for possible rowdiness in the wake of the damage caused by the Giants’ win in the World Series in late October. The damage included a city bus being set ablaze, cars overturned and bonfires set in trash containers and in streets.
“We will not tolerate the types of property destruction and violence that took place during the World Series,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon vowed.
Despite the large number of people on sidewalks, most appeared to be well-behaved in the Mission District after the game. On busy Valencia Street, a handful of people briefly blocked traffic as they tossed a football around in the middle of the roadway.
Police said a total of 25 arrests had been made Sunday night for public intoxication.
Even with the arrests, police reported quiet conditions overall in the Mission District and elsewhere in the city and described the overall mood of the crowds as
“City-wide everything seemed to be pretty good, it’s pretty quiet and everyone is behaving,” SFPD Officer Carlos Manfredi said. “We did have a couple of flare-ups in the Mission District but otherwise everyone seemed to be behaving themselves.”
Those flareups included a few people throwing bottles at police officers at 24th and Hampshire streets, but that incident was quickly contained without any injuries, according to Manfredi. One person was also arrested after they tried to light something on fire around 16th and Mission Streets, he added.
“It’s nowhere compared to the Giants,” Manfredi explained, referring to the violence and vandalism that broke out after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers.
Elixir, a bar in the Mission district, was packed to capacity with fans in red and gold like most of the city’s taverns, and people were peeking through windows to get a glimpse of the game.
Jason Helgerson, a 23-year-old from San Jose who had watched the game at the Elixir Bar, took the loss in stride.
“I think it could have gone either way, except for some of those calls,” he said. “Being a 49ers fan, I’m just happy we were in the Super Bowl.”
Mayor Ed Lee congratulated the 49ers for their “spectacular performance” said that “although they did not come up with a win, our city is proud of our red & gold hometown team.”
“The entire team demonstrated what you can accomplish with enough perseverance and teamwork,” Lee said in a statement. “The journey of the 49ers in their ‘Quest for Six’ reinvigorated San Francisco Bay Area football fans in a way unseen for nearly two decades.”
City officials took precautions to minimize problems whether or not the Niners would be victorious. They asked bars to be careful with how much alcohol they served.
Lee, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White also toured the Mission district last week as they tried to reassure business owners that police would do their best to keep things under control.
San Francisco transit officials detoured some bus routes off of Market Street during the game and canceled some of the city’s famed cable car service.
On the freeways, the California Highway Patrol also had extra officers on duty, and CHP officials were urging people not to drive if they’ve had too much to drink.
“Make it a safe and sober Super Bowl Sunday,” CHP Sgt. Diana McDermott said. “We want everybody enjoying the game with their family and friends.”
On Super Bowl Sunday 2010, the most recent year that collision data was available, nearly 25 percent of the crashes that day were alcohol related, the CHP said.
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