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Super Bowl Shuffle: App Directs Friday Night Revelers to Random Private Home

Crisis averted when hordes of fireworks fans instead merely look up in the air.

 Hope you weren't all expecting free beer. 


Super Bowl 50, like the grass at Levi's Stadium, is a rapidly fading memory. Gone are the heavily armed cops, the beer can artwork, and a fortress of kitsch erected atop a transit choke point

Thankfully, the private home at 13 Hinckley Walk, and all of its decor, remain. That was no given: Bizarrely, the NFL on Friday directed the thousands of users of its Road to 50 app to enjoy a 10 p.m. waterfront fireworks show at that residential address. The residents of this private home did not seem to be aware that their residence was volunteered as a late-night crash pad for all Hank Williams Junior’s rowdy friends.

“The Road to 50 calendar of events shows the address for tonight’s fireworks as 13 Hinckley Walk, a townhouse on our plaza level. Unbelievable!” wrote Clay Tominaga, the general manager of The Gateway housing complex, in a Friday evening e-mail. “I have instructed our team to call 911 if the crowds get too large or out of hand.” 

Tominaga and his staff, thankfully, did not have to call 911 as only a marginal number of celebrants wandered into the anachronistic high-rise and townhome community to view a fireworks show that was visible throughout much of the city. If he had called the cops, however, he might not have been pleased. “The districts of the city were compromised with less [cops],” explains a veteran officer. “They had station personnel guarding the replica football helmets at the Super Bowl Experience every night. Why couldn’t the NFL hire security guards? There were absolutely no people on Howard Street at 2 a.m.” This, he continues, explains “why three people took the opportunity to do doughnuts at Fifth and Bryant, eventually getting killed when their car blew up. ... personnel was scarce around San Francisco.” 

Assessing the costs and benefits of the Super Bowl figures to take months. Assessing the costs of the NFL inexplicably choosing a luxury townhome as the locus of fireworks festivities won’t take nearly as long. “It didn’t seem like it was an issue,” says Tominaga. 

Nathan Ballard, the spokesman for the Super Bowl Host Committee, says he has no idea how this happened. “The actual location,” he writes, “should have been listed as ‘the sky.’

“We regret the error.” 


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