SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) – In two years, the Bay Area will play host to Super Bowl L. Organizers are already hard at work for the 2016 contest and hope to incorporate lessons learned from this year’s festivities.
“The idea really was just to see it in-person, on the ground,” P.J. Johnston of the San Francisco Super Bowl Host Committee told KPIX 5.
Members of the host committee traveled to the East Coast to see how things were done. “Part of that planning process is to go and watch the Super Bowl in New York and New Jersey to see what worked, to see what maybe didn’t work out quite as well, take notes,” Johnston said.
The group looked at everything from public safety to transportation.
Super Bowl L festivities are expected to have a similar setup to this year’s game. Pregame festivities were held in Manhattan, with the game being played across the Hudson River in New Jersey. In 2016, the game will take place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, while most of the pregame events will be centered in San Francisco.
“What kind of events should we be thinking about in San Francisco that wouldn’t necessarily recreate what they did in New York, but build on good ideas,” Johnston said.
So far, Moscone Center is expected to host the Super Bowl Village and the NFL Experience. Other sites such as the Ferry Building, Fisherman’s Wharf or Wine Country could host the week-long party before the game, which will bring in people from all over the world.
One big issue organizers need to work on is transportation. After the Seahawks defeated the Broncos, mass transit became a headache for people leaving MetLife Stadium. About 16,000 more people than expected tried to take transit. Local transportation leaders are trying to avoid a repeat in 2016.
“We’ll want to be talking to the NFL about where people are staying, what hotels they’re using,” Caltrain spokesperson Jayme Ackemann told KPIX 5. She said that information would help them know how many trains need to come from each direction.
Officials are facing another big wrinkle that New York and New Jersey did not have to worry about.
“It’s a difficult planning conundrum for transportation to try and look out two years at what kind of service we’re going to need at a stadium venue that we’ve never served even for a regular game,” Ackemann said.
“It will be one of those all hands on deck days,” she added.
Super Bowl L will be broadcast on KPIX 5 in February 2016.