The cleanup is still underway, but city supervisors are already talking about how to spend any tax revenues the city reaps from Super Bowl celebrations.
Supervisor Scott Wiener Tuesday introduced a resolution that would direct hotel and sales tax revenue generated by the Super Bowl toward supportive housing options aimed at getting the homeless off the street, as well as toward cleaning up tent encampments.
Super Bowl coverage drew attention to the city’s homeless residents, some of whom have clustered in highly visible tent encampments in areas such as Division Street in recent weeks. Wiener called the problem “one of our great failures”:
“Allowing people to live in tents on our streets without providing adequate housing and shelter solutions is a failure of City policies, and it is a public health and safety hazard for those living in and around these tents. … A city that truly cares about its residents won’t allow them to live in tents on our streets.”
At the same meeting Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Jane Kim, vocal critics of the city’s spending on Super Bowl events, introduced a resolution calling for the appropriation of $100,000 and the creation of a fund to reimburse small businesses that lost money due to street closures and other impacts caused by Super Bowl City and related events.
The city closed streets around Justin Herman Plaza including Market Street for nearly three weeks for Super Bowl City, and a number of small businesses including street artists and vendors have said that they lost business as a result, Peskin said Tuesday:
“Many people had a great time and thousands of folks visited our city, but there were a number of folks who were left behind.”
Details have yet to be worked out, but Peskin said possible sources of funding could include donations from the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and any hotel or sales tax revenue determined to come from the Super Bowl.
It could be some months before the city knows the full economic impact of the Super Bowl, which recent estimates say cost The City more than $5 million. Backers have cited studies showing that cities that host the Super Bowl see a boost to their sales and hotel taxes and argued it would more than pay for itself.
Peskin Tuesday said that he was not actually counting on Super Bowl revenues as a source of funding, but “if the revenues are as rosy as projected by the boosters of the event” then The City should have sufficient funds to reimburse affected businesses.