San Francisco Super Bowl: crooked accounting, mass surveillance and a screwjob for taxpayers & homeless people

It's a universal, dismal truism that all major sports events are ripoffs that transfer money from cities to the pockets of corrupt sporting leagues and bodies, but even by those standards, San Francisco's impending Super Bowl is particularly terrible.

JWZ has rounded up a set of articles that plumb the depraved depths of the Super Bowl 2016 screwjob:

* San Francisco has already spent $5.3M on the Super Bowl and the costs are mounting

* But a lot of those costs will never show up on San Francisco's books, because city employees are being asked to "volunteer" for the Super Bowl while remaining on the clock, billing those hours to the city

* Meanwhile, the city is carpet bombing the streets with "traffic cameras", with a focus on streets where no traffic will be allowed

* San Francisco's massive, desperate homeless population are an unsightly embarrassment, so Rep Scott Wiener has asked the city to steal their tents

* Why are the homeless people in tents? Because they're being brutalized by El Nino and abandoned to the streets due to inadequate, mismanaged shelters -- without those tents, San Francisco will be even more at risk of become ground-zero for a bunch of terrible infectious disease epidemics

* What is to be done? Occupy the Super Bowl!

Mayor Ed Lee told the homeless they “have to leave” for the Super Bowl.

Our response: “Hey Mayor Ed Lee, No Penalties for Poverty” We, the people of San Francisco, demand that Super Bowl City and Ed Lee pay and invest $5 million right now in housing – we could house 500 people immediately with that money.

We also demand the use of publicly-owned assets, such as the empty Pier 29 or 80, or the land under the Freeway at 101/Cesar Chavez, and create monitored programs that support secure sleep, hygienic toileting, and access to transition/healing services.

Come out in your red & gold Niners colors to #TackleHomelessness. Join the Coalition on Homelessness as we protest the mayor’s unjust plan and demand immediate housing for our city’s unhoused residents.

Fuck the Super Bowl. [JWZ]

(Images: Aaron Brodeur, Homeless in san francisco mission district California, shani heckman, CC-BY)

Notable Replies

  1. Shuck says:

    The major difference between this and an art fair is that this is essentially just a promotion for a for-profit event (with tickets currently at $3k-$15k) by a private entity, whereas public money spent for art fairs, etc. is for the purpose of making art more accessible to people. So while there may (or may not) be any benefit to local businesses in general (and thus to the tax revenue for the areas), the core function of the efforts is very different.

  2. enso says:

    Professional sportsball events are a blight on urban America.

  3. BTW...

    I live six blocks away from Levi stadium (the Superbowl stadium)

    I'll take pics and whatnot. I am basically at ground zero for the actual event. I have no original insight into the social issues, but my phone and camera will remain charged and in use.

  4. I actually do this for a living (try to end homelessness that is). The solution, of course, is blindingly simple, and even free market capitalism based. Build more housing. Thats it, that's all it would take. If there were more housing, then market forces would kick in, and housing would become more affordable.

    Problem is, of course, housing being more affordable is that the house you just bought for say a cool mill or two, mortgaged up the yinyang,counting on its appreciation as your retirement fund, suddenly isn't worth that any more. For this to work, the value of your house, and everybody else's, would have to depreciate. A lot. And more to the point, so would the value of all the (also mortgaged up the yingyang) commercial rental properties.

    Aside from the rate payers, who would get screwed, and will vote accordingly, you would actually cause pain to banks and the rest of the financial and investment sector. Good luck with that, I mean you can sometimes screw the voters, but the banks? I don't think so. So the zoning will remain insane, and pretty specifically forbid the building of low income housing in anybody's backyard.

    There is a very direct line: the actual price of all that lovely appreciating real estate making the rich richer and maybe even making a lucky few of the desperate middle class a bit better off if they manage to carry their insane mortgage for another 15 years, is the suffering of all the guys pushing shopping carts and sleeping in boxes. Its kinda like the homeless are the manure that nurtures all those beautiful homes.

    But San Francisco is SO BEAUTIFUL they say, can't muck it up with cheap concrete high-rises! You want it to look like Hong Kong or something? Well, yeah, actually, I do, if the price of all the picaresque beauty is a bag lady sleeping in an alley. ,

    May I suggest a fine piece of short fiction by Ursela K Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas for a somewhat metaphoric but extremely accurate and apropos description of the situation.

  5. enso says:

    Ha ha ha.

    Would you say that you're disappointed in Cory and/or Boing Boing by extension?

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