The San Francisco Bay Area will flaunt its fabulousness for nine days when Super Bowl 50 and the oodles of festivities leading up to the National Football League’s behemoth championship take place this month and next. The game itself will be played on Sunday, Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, at the home of the San Francisco 49ers in the state-of-the-art Levi’s Stadium, the greenest—yes, it is LEED-certified—and most technologically-advanced stadium in the country. The golden anniversary of the sporting world’s biggest annual contest—it is one of the most watched televised programs in the world— marks the big game’s first return to the region since Super Bowl XIX, a 38-16 victory by the 49ers over the Miami Dolphins at Stanford Stadium in 1985, and the first time Roman numerals are not being used. Whether or not you’re going to the game or even a football fan it behooves you to know what’s going on. After all, an estimated one million people, including top athletes, celebrities, models and corporate bigwigs, will flock here for the week that promises to showcase the Bay Area’s innovativeness, epicurean spirit, culture and fun at a variety of public events and exclusive, invite-only soirees taking place from the South Bay to Napa but primarily in San Francisco. Without further ado, here is your haute guide to Super Bowl 50.
SATURDAY, JAN. 30
San Francisco isn’t known for following the rules—even when it comes to the Super Bowl. In a break from tradition, Super Bowl City, a free, public fan village presented by Verizon, opens the weekend prior to the big game. Locals, this is your time to enjoy the merriment before the hordes of visitors descend on your area. Centered in Justin Herman Plaza, on the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street, this is where fans of all ages can enjoy family-friendly interactive games and activities highlighting the region’s technological prowess, Sonoma County wines and more. Super Bowl City, open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Feb. 7, will also be the broadcast home for the CBS Television Network and the NFL Network. Plan accordingly to make sure you don’t miss Saturday’s official re-lighting of the iconic Bay Lights on the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bay Bridge and a Macy’s fireworks display on the first day. Also opening on Saturday is the NFL Experience Driven by Hyundai, pro football’s interactive theme park that takes place at Moscone Center North and South through Feb. 7. This is where you can nab free autographs from NFL players, ogle the Vince Lombardi Trophy on display before it is awarded to the Super Bowl 50 champion, shop for merchandise and check out new attractions such as personalized digital photos and a virtual reality experience. Partake in this lively event from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the week, except for Jan. 31 and Feb. 7 when quitting time is 8 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.