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article imageSan Francisco gets $5 million bill from police for Super Bowl 50

By Nathan Salant     Mar 30, 2016 in Entertainment
San Francisco - San Francisco taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars in police overtime incurred as the city hosted weeks of festivities before Super Bowl 50.
The city's overtime bill is expected to be more than $3 million, more than twice the original estimate of $1.7 million used to justify hosting pregame events 50 miles north of the actual Super Bowl, and could be as high as $5 million.
Police Chief Greg Suhr, under fire over recent police shootings of two young black men, said Monday that the city's costs skyrocketed because of security upgrades required after terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and in France.
The terrorist attacks “came in after we made the bid, and kind of changed plans,” Suhr said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
San Francisco hosted football fairs and stadium concerts in the lead-up to the game, which helped the city fill its thousands of hotel rooms and restaurants.
But Suhr's remarks came after a public records request from television station KPIX revealed the city paid out $5 million more than usual in police overtime for February.
City officials pointed out that the total $7.6 million payout also included overtime for several other events, including the Chinese New Year parade, cleanups of homeless encampments on Division Street and protests sparked by the shooting of Mario Woods on a Bayview district sidewalk in December.
A final accounting is not expected until April.
“Attendance was larger we had expected,” Suhr said.
“We had to close the Super Bowl village twice for overcrowding, and we did have more demonstrations than we anticipated,” he said.
Suhr estimated overtime costs paid by taxpayers at nearly $3 million, “$700,000 of which we requested the federal government reimburse because they added extra security.”
San Francisco's tourism bureau has estimated the city earned about $5 million in extra hotel taxes.
“The city’s costs are obviously significant,” Chamber of Commerce Vice President James Lazarus told the newspaper.
“We need to see how much of those costs were general fund costs and how much will be paid by the airport or other revenues,” Lazarus said.
Supervisor Jane Kim, a prominent critic of the city's deal with the National Football League to host pregame festivities while the actual football game was played 50 miles south in Santa Clara, said she would wait for the final report before proposing any actions.
"News like this does certainly concern me about what other cost overruns there might have been,” she said.
The Denver Broncos won the game, defeating the Carolina Panthers by a 24-10 score.
More about San Francisco, Overtime, Police, Super bowl, Santa clara
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