SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Local merchants hope San Francisco’s slumbering post-pandemic economy gets a much needed jolt this weekend from the thunder of the Blue Angels and the roar of the crowd at the historic playoff showdown between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s a busy weekend in the city. The Blue Angels return to the skies after a year’s COVID hiatus for the city’s three-day Fleet Week celebration.READ MORE: 'It’s A Big One'; Weekend Atmospheric River Gaining Intensity Off California Coast
The Blue Angels took flight over the Bay Area Thursday afternoon as the fighter jets held their first practice ahead of the scheduled weekend air shows.
The stunt flyers are scheduled to perform at around 3:15 p.m. each day during festivities held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The full air show schedule for the weekend can be found online here.
For more information regarding the full schedule of events happening and to buy grandstand tickets to the air show this weekend, visit the San Francisco Fleet Week website.
The Giants-Dodgers meet for the first two games of the National League Divisional Series on Friday and Saturday. It’s the first time the heated rivals have met in a playoff contest in more than 100 years.
Added to that is a Friday night Golden State Warriors-Los Angeles Lakers exhibition game — with Steph Curry taking on Lebron James — at the Chase Center.
On Sunday, the Italian Heritage Festival and Parade will be held in North Beach for the first time since the pandemic. The Sunday parade will mark the first large-scale parade to be held in San Francisco during the COVID era.
It’s the busiest weekend in San Francisco since the COVID pandemic struck on March 2020. All these major events are expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors to San Francisco. Many businesses are staffing up. Bars and restaurants are stocking up with extra food and drinks.
They believe foot traffic will soar sky high.
The Giants-Dodgers postseason games will bring a combined 90,000 fans to the neighborhoods around Oracle Park. Momo’s is across from the ball park and expects a packed house both inside the restaurant and outside on the patio.READ MORE: White House Unveils COVID Vaccination Plans For Children Age 5-11
“We expect to have the busiest day,” said Momo’s bar manager Gil Gallegos. “We’re) exited, got the jitters, butterflies. But everyone is ready for the big weekend,”
The busy weekend will also bring heavier vehicle traffic to freeways and city streets as thousands of people drive into the city for these events. As always, city officials recommend using public transportation with BART and Muni to avoid waiting in traffic and paying increased parking fees.
Oracle Park also has a page on its website offering information on public transportation and how to reserve a parking space for the games, which officials were highly recommending.
Businesses from along the waterfront to Chinatown are looking forward to a giant economic boost.
“I would say at least double the business,” said Edward Siu, chairman of the Chinatown Merchants United Association of San Francisco.
Business owners said in previous years, many Fleet Week visitors made their way to Chinatown.
“They came here for shopping, eating, and also a lot of history,” said Siu.
A manager at Pier 39’s Hard Rock Cafe said they will be adding 15% to 20% more workers to staff this weekend.
“It’ll bring back a lot of foot traffic. It’ll give our workers more hours that they need to pay bills,” said Beverly Phi, a retail manager at the SF Hard Rock Cafe.
Hotels are also seeing occupancy rates go up.MORE NEWS: Suspect In Shopping Center Parking Lot Shootout With Milpitas Police Dies Of Wounds
“We expect to have the busiest weekend since Labor Day, and maybe even busier than Labor Day when we almost sold out,” said Clifton Clark, the general manager of the SF Palace Hotel.