We’re a month shy of Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, and local law enforcement agencies are going lights and sirens to make sure they’re ready for an extra million people pouring into the Bay Area. There’s just a couple questions: How much will it cost taxpayers and who will pay for it all? The Super Bowl Host Committee designated Santa Clara and San Jose to host the Big Game’s AFC and NFC teams, respectively, and the NFL is supposed to pick up the tab for a certain amount of external hotel security at the Marriott hotels in both cities. Any extra security, however, falls on the respective police departments. It’s a pretty great deal for the NFL, which is only worth a piddly $45 billion. San Jose’s new acting police chief, Eddie Garcia, is more of the go-big-or-go-home type, and he says SJPD “will probably go above and beyond what the NFL requires for safety personnel.” That means the bill for any additional officer overtime could fall on—well, no one seems to know exactly where that money is going to come from, but law enforcement agencies will probably be duking it out to split the money pot. It seems like the city of San Jose could very well expect an invoice from its own department. Garcia says the California Highway Patrol will handle escort duties for the NFC squad, and officers working secondary employment will receive checks directly from SAP Center for the “media night” press blitz scheduled for Monday, Feb. 1. Airport security in San Jose will also be under the microscope as hundreds of private jets are expected to fly into the new private terminal owned by Google. How a city the size of Santa Clara intends to foot the bill of hosting a Super Bowl squad is still unknown, as Lt. Kurt Clarke declined to share any details on security and said he had no information on costs to the city. City Manager Julio Fuentes—a big fan of Fly—has not made himself available for comment. If the city’s dealings with the San Francisco 49ers are any indication, the Mission City could look like a size 50 footprint by the final whistle.
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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. View more posts