San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the city’s police and fire chiefs walked down Mission Street Wednesday to assure merchants that the neighborhood would be safe in the event of a 49ers victory in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Lee, sporting a bright red jacket and 49ers hat, joined police Chief Greg Suhr and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White to discuss the city’s plans for the big game on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.
The Mission District in particular bore the brunt of the raucous revelry after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last October, with many storefronts damaged or vandalized with graffiti.
Lee said fans should celebrate if the 49ers win, but “make sure we do it respectfully.”
He said, “We need everyone to watch out for each other.”
One business owner told the mayor she was thinking of boarding up her windows in advance of the game, but Lee said he hoped that would not be necessary.
Suhr said in the event of a Super Bowl victory, police will have an increased presence in the neighborhood, as well as other potential hot spots like North Beach, the Marina District and Haight Street.
“We’re going to have people everywhere to make sure it doesn’t get too crazy anywhere,” he said.
He warned potential rowdy fans, “Know that if you’re acting out, somebody’s videotaping you with their cellphone and they’re going to send it to us.”
Suhr said police are also working with Recology and the city’s Department of Public Works to make sure trash bins are cleared on Sunday since full trash cans ended up providing fuel for street fires that popped up around the city during the World Series celebration.
He told fans, “Have a blast, but be the class city that we are for our class team … act like we’ve been there before because we have.”
Mayor Lee also today declared “Red and Gold” week in San Francisco and encouraged fans and local businesses to wear red and gold or show any signs of support at their homes or businesses for the 49ers.
Lee has placed the 49ers flag off of the balcony at City Hall since the start of the playoffs and ordered City Hall, the Ferry Building and other landmarks around the city to be lit in red and gold in honor of the team.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News