With the San Francisco 49ers ready to take on the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park Saturday afternoon, city transit and public safety officials are ramping up safety and planning for the expected large crowds at the stadium and on roads.
The NFC Divisional playoff game between the teams is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at Candlestick Park. San Francisco police are bumping up their staffing for the game with officers on patrol on foot, car, motorcycle and bicycle, police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said.
Some officers will be in the stands wearing both Packers attire and the red-and-gold gear of the 49ers, Manfredi said. Other officers will be patrolling the parking lots and on San Francisco Municipal Railway vehicles before and after the game, with a particular eye on express buses heading to and from the stadium and along the Third Street corridor.
Muni spokesman Paul Rose said express buses and special event fares on buses and light-rail vehicles will be available for fans heading to the stadium Saturday. He said the parking lot gates open at 1 p.m. and the stadium doors will open at 3 p.m. "We are encouraging fans to take public transit and carpool," Rose said.
For those opting to drive on game day, the transit agency is advising motorists to expect delays two hours before and after the game on area bridges and on U.S. Highway 101 near Candlestick Park, Rose said.
Ahead of the game, the city is sporting its home team pride with the 49ers team flag hanging from the mayor's balcony at City Hall, and Coit Tower, City Hall and the Embarcadero Center buildings shining red and gold.
The Embarcadero Center will illuminate 1,700 red and gold lights starting tonight until midnight. The lights will be switched on every day at 5 p.m. until the 49ers season ends, either in defeat or with a Super Bowl victory.
The 49ers had a first-round bye in the playoffs after finishing the regular season as the NFC's No. 2 seed.