Yes! The Super Bowl is coming to the Bay Area but you’ll probably be most affected if you are trying to get to work or go to the events planned in downtown San Francisco.
Although the game itself is at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, San Francisco is hosting a one week pre-party the week before.
San Francisco Pre-Party
Super Bowl City is a fan village that will be centered at Justin Herman Plaza and take up a large area across the street from the Ferry Building.
Since this event is free for all to attend, it is expected to draw large crowds.
Market Street will be closed for eight days from January 30 to February 7 for several blocks leading to Justin Herman Plaza. Many Muni busses and street cars will be rerouted to nearby Mission Street.
The bottom line: I’d avoid driving downtown anywhere near the Embarcadero and the Ferry building.
The best way to get to Super Bowl City is to take transit. Taking BART is convenient. The Embarcadero station is right there in the middle of Super Bowl City. If you live in the city just take any of the lines that terminate at the Ferry Building. Although the closures might reroute those lines, they will get you super close to the action.
If you still insist on driving be prepared to pay more for parking at all the garages anywhere close to the fan village. The best bet is to try the 5th and Mission garage. It’s either a healthy walk or a short bus ride from there down Mission Street to the Embarcadero.
This garage might be sold out early though. The NFL Experience, another fan event, will be at Moscone Center the week before the game. Although this event is not free, it is expected to draw large crowds as well.
Taking the ferry to San Francisco is also a decent option. The Ferry building is right across the street from Super Bowl City.
If you’re planning to get a hotel room in the city it may be too late. Many Hotels have been sold out for months surrounding these events. This is where you ask friends/parents to crash with them, stay in places like Oakland or Daly City and “commute” to the event, or make other arrangements.
Learn more about getting to Super Bowl City and the NFL Experience here.
Getting to Work
What if you are just trying to get to your job in downtown San Francisco? The best bet is to not use the Embarcadero BART station. Who wants to see all those happy people going to Super Bowl City while you have to put in a 9 to 5?
The Montgomery Station is just a few blocks away and the Powell Street Station a little bit farther. Bring comfortable walking shoes. A little walking will help you avoid crowds associated with this event.
Keep in mind your commuter Ferry ride to the city may be more crowded than usual. What would be more frustrating than showing up to take the Ferry only find it’s been sold out? This is the week to get to the Ferry early and pre-pay for your tickets.
Driving? That garage you park in may be sold out when you get there or be charging higher rates during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
Going to the Game
If you happen to be lucky enough to score a ticket to the game (it could happen), you can drive there and park in the many lots near Levi’s Stadium.
There will be no tailgating allowed at any of the NFL sanctioned lots at Levi’s Stadium and the private lots may also not allow it that day.
Super Bowl organizers have schedule “Fan Express” shuttle buses to Levi’s Stadium from several hotels all over the Bay Area.
For $55 you can take a bus and forget about parking or driving yourself. You can see the schedule and locations here.
Regular public transportation will also work including VTA, Caltrain, and Amtrak Capitol Corridor service.
Photo by: Heather Wells