San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is reportedly considering different methods that would restrict the sale of hard liquor as the Super Bowl draws near. It’s not a Super Bowl alcohol ban, as advertised elsewhere, but a plan to walk the line between bars and restaurants bringing in big business and utter chaos in the streets.
Lee told the San Francisco Chronicle that he and the city’s police chief, Greg Suhr, will tour the areas hit by vandals after the recent World Series victory to speak with business owners about their ideas and “also to suggest that they serve something [other] than heavy alcohol during times of celebration, because that inebriation sometimes doesn't help with people who want to maybe go beyond the bounds of acceptability in their celebration.”
Business owners seemed to agree that the mayor’s ideas made sense, but questions remain about whether they’ll be able to refuse the booming profit numbers that are inevitable when a local team is playing in the championship.
Proponents of hard alcohol sales have blamed last year’s rioting on the World Series being played in San Francisco, whereas the Super Bowl is a one-game event to be played across the country in Louisiana.
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After the Giants won the World Series on Oct. 28 police responded to small riots throughout the city and a $700,000 Muni bus was set ablaze in the city’s financial district.
The NFL has seen increased criticism in recent years for the "alcohol first" atmosphere at many of the league’s games. Critics say they’re no longer a safe environment and instead enable tailgaters to take their drinking too far, to the point where fights and vomiting are common.
Safe alcohol consumption is certainly part of the game experience, but some say the league has handcuffed itself by signing on to partnerships with the major alcohol companies. For better or worse, those are restrictions San Francisco Mayor Ed Less doesn’t have to work under.