SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco city officials preparing for the 49ers’ Super Bowl game against the Baltimore Ravens are hoping to avoid a repeat of the violence and vandalism that marred World Series celebrations last year.
A total of 36 people were arrested during post-game celebrations in October after the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victory against the Detroit Tigers, 23 of them for felonies. Celebrants lit a number of bonfires in the middle of Mission Street, broke windows and, in one notorious incident, set a Muni 8X-Bayshore Express bus on fire at Market and Kearny streets.READ MORE: Dixie Fire: Thick Smoke Layer Gives Beleaguered Firefighters A Break; Indian Falls Devastated As Dixie, Fly Fire Merge
Police Chief Greg Suhr said after the World Series that the destructive behavior of fans caught the department and other emergency responders by surprise. A previous World Series victory celebration in 2010 had been less volatile.
In response, police and city officials are making plans to ensure the Feb. 3 Super Bowl celebrations – assuming there is a celebration – go more smoothly.
“We want the city to be both celebratory and safe for everyone,” Mayor Ed Lee said Thursday at a news conference.
“I’m really concerned about the small businesses that got hurt during the World Series,” he added.
Lee said city officials plan to talk to small businesses in the Mission District and elsewhere that were most affected by the World Series violence starting next week. He also said bars need to be aware of how much alcohol they’re serving.
Mayor Lee went as far as suggesting bars serve something other than hard alcohol during the game.
“I suggest that they serve something (other) than heavy alcohol during the times of celebration cause that inebriation sometimes doesn’t help with people who might go beyond the bounds of acceptability in their celebration,” Lee told reporters Thursday.READ MORE: VIDEO: Shoplifter Fills Up Backpack With Stolen Goods During Stroll Through San Francisco Walgreens