SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Tight security was in place at Levi’s Stadium Thursday night as the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Oakland Raiders, the last meeting between the teams as Bay Area rivals.
The teams come into Thursday’s matchup far removed from the lofty expectation both had at the beginning of the season. Fans of both teams have been involved in brawls with each other during previous meetings between the teams, with the last regular season meeting in 2014. The teams’ annual preseason game was canceled in 2011 after a shooting the parking lot of Candlestick Park and other fan violence.
Among the security measures Thursday, plainclothes police will be wandering the stadium wearing jerseys of both teams. Also, no masks will be allowed at the stadium, and alcohol sales may be ended earlier than the end of the third quarter, when they are normally cut off.
The Raiders, who plan on playing in Las Vegas by 2020, may be forced to into a temporary relocation elsewhere as the City of Oakland threatens an antitrust suit against the team.
Fans from both teams told KPIX they welcomed the additional security, and hoped the end of the Bay Area rivalry would tamp down any thought of violence in the stands or the parking lots.
“This is the last time it’s going to be the Battle of the Bay. So it should be a really good game, a friendly game. Hopefully there’s no violence,” said Raiders fan Fernando Carrillo. “Go Raiders, though.”
“Seeing all the security around here and all the enforcement around here, I actually feel very safe,” said 49ers fans Levi Haynes.
“I don’t think [fan violence] will happen this time,” said Raiders fan Jonathan Moreno. “It’s the last one. I feel like, you know, with everything I think everybody is going to be closer with the last one.”