Super Bowl 50, the clash between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers on Feb. 7, will be a tailgate of two cities. The fan village and other activities are set in San Francisco, but the game will be played about 40 miles south in Santa Clara, Calif., home to Levi’s Stadium and the San Francisco 49ers.
Here are some tips that will help you plan for how much you might spend:
The official website lists options for reaching the stadium on game day. The Road to 50 app available for smartphones and other devices is also a terrific source of information, news and directions. The Fan Express, $55 round trip, will shuttle fans to the stadium on game day with multiple pickup and drop-off locations in the Bay Area.
Enhancing the experience
A show at Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art, “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” features exhibits on legends such as Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath. Visitors can also check out vintage pads and jerseys and compare them to modern equipment. Admission: free. Info: Triton Museum of Art.
The NFL Experience: This theme park, which includes interactive games that let you pass the ball or try to kick a game-winning field goal, as well as an exhibit of Super Bowl championship rings and a chance to take a photograph with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, will be at the Moscone Center, 800 Howard St., San Francisco, through Feb. 7. It will be open from 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. weekends to 10 most evenings. Info: Visit the NFL website. Admission: Tickets are $35 ($25 for ages 12 and younger).
Super Bowl City: Set in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza, where Market Street meets the Embarcadero, this fan village runs through Feb. 7 from 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. daily. Attractions include the Fan Dome, a 40-foot-tall space offering an interactive experience using motion detectors and giant screens. Admission: Free. You can read more here.
San Francisco standards
Football may be the name of the game, but there are plenty of things to do off the gridiron too. Golden Gate Bridge is always ready for its close-up, with good selfie spots at the vista point at the southern end of the bridge or Fort Point, beneath the southern anchorage. Another famous bit of pavement is Lombard Street’s crooked block, between Leavenworth and Hyde streets; for a good angle, shoot looking up from Leavenworth.
Fisherman’s Wharf is kitschy, sure, but it’s fun kitsch. Eat a fresh crab cocktail and stroll down to Pier 39 to see the basking sea lions; learn more about them at the Sea Lion Center operated by Aquarium of the Bay.
Beer and football go together like love and prenups, but don’t forget that San Francisco is just a 45-minute drive from Napa Valley. Several wine country places are offering Super Bowl specials.
The Napa Valley Wine Train is running a special Big Game Train on Wednesday featuring lunch, wines and meet-and-greets with stars such as former NFL coach Dick Vermeil (now a Napa Valley vintner). Tickets: $189-$249 a person. Find out more here.
Of course, you don’t have to drive to Napa Valley to enjoy fine wine. California wines are available at Levi’s Stadium.
And some San Francisco restaurants are beefing up their wine lists. The Epic Roasthouse, 369 Embarcadero, has snagged a case of the much-anticipated 2013 vintage of Odette Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (the 2012 vintage got a 100-point rating from critic Robert Parker) and is stocking up on perennial favorites such as Opus One and Staglin Family Vineyard, according to managing partner Pete Sittnick.
Epic is also serving wines from all 50 years the Super Bowl has been held, with limited quantities of the older vintages, naturally. Scroll down their wine list to “Real Football Fans Drink Wine.”
“It’s really about being able to show off to this huge national and international audience what hospitality means in San Francisco,” Sittnick said.
“It’s going to be busy, and we’re going to make money and we’re going to sell a lot of wine and food, but I’m really looking forward to being able to be the host city and being able to show off what San Francisco is all about.”