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Phil Matier: Santa Clara In Shadow Of San Francisco’s Super Bowl Spotlight

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Artist’s rendering of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. (SF 49ers)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — This week’s vote by the NFL to play Super Bowl L at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara in 2016 – and name San Francisco as official host city – will create an interesting dynamic between SF and the South Bay.

Former Mayor Willie Brown thinks that the symbol of the Super Bowl really is San Francisco—not necessarily the stadium where the game is played. There will be almost 500,000 to a million people involved in this Super Bowl and they will be here in San Francisco, not in Santa Clara or in San Jose.  The stadium holds only about 70,000.

This is a big plus for the entire Bay Area but let’s be honest, it would have been a real tough time if San Francisco had lost out to Houston or New Orleans. Can you imagine explaining how the tech and tourist centers of universe and the 49ers’ billion dollar stadium lost against those places?

Still, it was a tough sale though, because the city had to sell the hotel rooms and the idea that you are going to have to get into your car and drive 45 miles down the stadium.

The glamour shots used during the broadcast, in between plays, will undoubtedly not be of Santa Clara but instead will likely focus on the glimmering lights of the San Francisco skyline.

And what are the odds that Brown will be in the glamour shots? Although he didn’t go to Boston to make the pitch to the NFL, he did end up in the photo smiling with Mayor Ed Lee. How does he do it?

“I’m the lucky charm,” Brown, famously known for his modesty, quipped.

“I am full-time involved in almost everything that goes on in this city by my choice. I want to do work. I want to be a part of what goes down. That’s why you see me end up on many occasions being part of the decision.”

The last time the Super Bowl was played here, the pre-game party was at the Moscone Center. The question is, will that happen again?

“Absolutely,” says Brown. “The whole Super Bowl experience and the NFL experience, that’s going to be at the Moscone and believe me when the mayor says we’re going to replicate what they did in New Orleans. We’re going to have the opportunity to wander around be a part of this great scene.”

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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