How Much Will Super Bowl 50 Cost Local Law Enforcement?

We’re a month shy of Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, and local law enforcement agencies are going lights and sirens to make sure they’re ready for an extra million people pouring into the Bay Area. There’s just a couple questions: How much will it cost taxpayers and who will pay for it all? The Super Bowl Host Committee designated Santa Clara and San Jose to host the Big Game’s AFC and NFC teams, respectively, and the NFL is supposed to pick up the tab for a certain amount of external hotel security at the Marriott hotels in both cities. Any extra security, however, falls on the respective police departments. It’s a pretty great deal for the NFL, which is only worth a piddly $45 billion. San Jose’s new acting police chief, Eddie Garcia, is more of the go-big-or-go-home type, and he says SJPD “will probably go above and beyond what the NFL requires for safety personnel.” That means the bill for any additional officer overtime could fall on—well, no one seems to know exactly where that money is going to come from, but law enforcement agencies will probably be duking it out to split the money pot. It seems like the city of San Jose could very well expect an invoice from its own department. Garcia says the California Highway Patrol will handle escort duties for the NFC squad, and officers working secondary employment will receive checks directly from SAP Center for the “media night” press blitz scheduled for Monday, Feb. 1. Airport security in San Jose will also be under the microscope as hundreds of private jets are expected to fly into the new private terminal owned by Google. How a city the size of Santa Clara intends to foot the bill of hosting a Super Bowl squad is still unknown, as Lt. Kurt Clarke declined to share any details on security and said he had no information on costs to the city. City Manager Julio Fuentesa big fan of Fly—has not made himself available for comment. If the city’s dealings with the San Francisco 49ers are any indication, the Mission City could look like a size 50 footprint by the final whistle.

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  1. San Francisco 49ers? Who’s team are we hosting? Seems to me the city’s that bid for this thing along with the NFL should be covering the cost of the party. They are making all the money and tax revenue.
    No one offered me a free ticket. Why the hell should tax payer’s be on the hook after they were stuck with the bill for the stadium?
    San Francisco seems to be pandering to the fans and looking for the payday, how many cops are they sending?

    Do I hear Santa Clara 49ers?……………. CA-CHING……….

    • Since San Francisco remains in the moniker, let them fund the extra police required for their team.

  2. Measure J prohibits the expenditure of City of Santa Clara tax dollars on operating expenses of NFL events at the Stadium. The Stadium Authority must pay for the public safety costs. If the City Council tries to use City tax dollars to pay for public safety, a Santa Clara tax payer would have a pretty good lawsuit.

  3. A million people are coming to the Bay Area to spend money–and they will spend a ton of it on our local businesses. It will be the biggest economic boon to the region. Are we really going to whine at spending a few nickels for this opportunity. Because New Orleans, Miami, Houston, and every other NFL City in the nation would love to have this “problem”. Are we that myopic?

    • Why is expecting the City of Santa Clara to enforce the promise made to the voters that no City tax dollars would be spent on Stadium operations considered “myopic”? I consider it to be enforcing a business deal made by the 49ers and the NFL. It’s the NFL that shouldn’t be whining about being expected to foot the bill for public safety costs out of the revenue that their event will generate. As a Santa Clara resident who does not own a bar or restaurant or hotel, I see absolutely no economic benefit in being the host to the Super Bowl. So far I have seen the NFL take the soccer fields from our kids and at their school ask them to donate school supplies to help make the NFL look good by giving the school supplies to less advantaged kids. Take their sports and give ’em pencils. Play 60? Right.

    • Willie Brown was on KCBS the other day. He said unequivocally and unapologetically that the host city itself rarely makes money on these big sports events. The C&CofSF lost millions on The America’s Cup, an amount that would be a mere rounding error on Larry Ellison’s personal fortune. However, local hospitality businesses get a significant uptick from events like The Super Bowl. In the case of Super Bowl 50, the beneficiaries will mostly be SF hospitality and tourist oriented businesses. Does anyone really expect a flood of people to come down to eat, drink, party, and buy souvenirs in Santa Clara or SJ when they can do so in The City? Sure SC and SJ hotels will be fully booked at highly inflated rates for a few days, instead of being only 75% booked; but far more people will stay in SF. And who wants to eat anywhere in SC except perhaps Parcel 104, or at the precious few excellent SJ restaurants, when you can choose from a couple of hundred excellent SF restaurants or the many fine restaurants in Palo Alto, which has more fine dining establishments than all the other cities in Santa Clara County combined? The taxpayers of Santa Clara will take a hit on Super Bowl 50, just as kids’ soccer will. The mega rich NFL should pay for all extra police/fire/security costs associated with every Super Bowl.

    • So now that Superbowl is over how much did we really make off Superbowl for local busineses? So far I hear not much.

  4. What is the source of the idea that one million people are coming to the Bay Area? The stadium holds 68,000, less if you consider egos. It is all well and nice that money will be spent at hotels and restaurants. Some sales tax money will trickle down to the city of Santa Clara’s general fund, but we are not allowed to spend general fund dollars on stadium events. It is a shame that these decisions were made behind closed doors by closed minds.
    We must remember to thank our City Attorney for fighting vigorously to keep those pesky kids off the soccer fields.

  5. Hey Rich, I know people who can tell you what the bill is estimated to be. Taxpayers are NOT going to be happy but by the time they know it will be to late. They don’t bring in nearly enough to foot the bill that the NFL will ultimately dump in their laps for the many, many locations that will need public employees for various reasons between San Francisco and San Jose. But SF is used to being abused and SJ is used to horrifyingly bad financial decision making, so they’ll whine a bit, but no one will do anything. And if they do, whatever it is, it will likely just contribute to what will ultimately end in an unmitigated disaster for the taxpayers like usual.

  6. The next time the NFL wants to use OUR stadium … They will have to PAY to PLAY … The free lunch and pandering to the NFL has to end once and for all! It they don’t want to pay … Tell them to pay or go away!

    Glendale, site of the last super bowl, LOST money … Santa Clara is stupid for rolling over and allowing themselves to be fleeced by mega-billionaires.

    PAy to play … Or GO AWAY! Start practicing now City Manager Fuentes … But you’ll be outta here soon and take Stockton’s joke of an attorney with you! Neither are worth what the NFL is paying now.

  7. The idea that the city of Santa Clara will make money on this is ludicrous. If the event were held in SF itself, then SF might make money. But with the situation being what it is, many people will party in SF, stay in SF and go down the peninsula to the stadium for a few hours. This is one reason Glendale lost money. For an economic study on this subject see A pull quote from the abstract “Indeed, the evidence indicates that at best the Super Bowl contributes approximately one-quarter of what the NFL promises.” And promises come cheap. As a resident of SC I fought Prop J with many neighbors, but the money we were up against was too much, not to mention politics.

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