The Super Bowl is coming back to Levi’s Stadium, and businesses and residents are welcoming one of the nation’s largest sporting events even though it’s three years away.
Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home to the San Francisco 49ers, will host Super Bowl 60 in 2026 a decade after it hosted Super Bowl 50 in 2016. The NFL made the decision official Monday after 49ers CEO Jed York indicated the team was a frontrunner in March.
“2026 is going to be a really, really great year for Bay Area residents. We have had the World Cup already announced to be held at Levi’s Stadium and now we’re going to have Super Bowl 60,” Bay Area Host Committee CEO Zaileen Janmohamed told San José Spotlight. “There will be no other city or region in the United States that will be able to do, or say and talk about both.”
The NFL championship game’s return comes at a time when Silicon Valley cities are looking for ways to increase revenue, after a steep decline in local tourism since the COVID-19 pandemic. San Jose has worked to boost tourism through cheaper air travel and other events, but the millions of dollars that stem from a Super Bowl could be a boon for the local economy. Santa Clara city officials said the 2016 Super Bowl netted $250 million.
For South Bay locals, 2026 is a long, thrilling three–year wait.
Evelyn Singleton, 80, said she heard the news from her daughter and is excited to see the Super Bowl return to Levi’s Stadium. She said she’s originally from the East Coast and roots for the Philadelphia Eagles. She’s hoping to go to the game with her daughter and son. Her son would fly out from the East Coast, especially if their team makes it to the finals.
“(My daughter) texted me the information, and I said, ‘Ooh, I think I need to start saving up,’” Singleton told San José Spotlight. “People will be happy to come out this way just to say, ‘I went to California to be at the Super Bowl.’”
Fremont Kabob Restaurant Manager Ehsan Amir said he hopes the Super Bowl brings in customers, especially since many residents shifted to online delivery services like DoorDash during the pandemic and post-pandemic. He said the restaurant has been open for a year, and foot traffic increases when there are stadium games.
“Lot of people (will be) walking around,” Amir, 29, told San José Spotlight. “When they are done from the game, they just come in here.”
House of Bagels franchise owner Mark Chhi said he still remembers business booming during the 2016 Super Bowl and hopes 2026 will bring the same energy. Chhi said his store sold food to local residents, out-of-town visitors, Super Bowl workers and even professional athletes, including several 49ers players and former NBA player David Robinson.
“We had a lot of fun,” Chhi, 65, told San José Spotlight. “There were a lot of people, they turned this neighborhood here into a Super Bowl town.”
Christian Gonzalez said he’s not sure if he’ll attend the Super Bowl in person, but will likely tune in with his go-to game day snack: fried calamari. Gonzalez said he’s a 49ers fan and roots for Bay Area teams in general. Tourism will spike around game day, but most visitors will likely pivot to cities with more attractions such as San Francisco, he added.
A 2016 Levi’s Stadium report showed revenue from the event was concentrated in San Francisco, rather than hometown cities like San Jose and Santa Clara: more than 57% of revenue was generated in San Francisco, 12.3% in San Jose and 7.2% in Santa Clara.
“I think game day itself through that week, you’ll get people from all over come to see the Super Bowl,” Gonzalez, 28, told San José Spotlight. “(But) they come for everything else, like San Francisco for sightseeing and stuff like that, museums.”
Janmohamed said Super Bowl 60 is still in its earliest planning stages, but the goal is to ensure local cities across the Bay Area see boosts in tourism. She said Super Bowl 60 also hopes to uphold Super Bowl 50’s philanthropic legacy, as the event raised $13 million for local organizations. It’s an exciting time and the region is fully prepared to host the national event, she added.
“There’s a reason why these (events) are coming to the Bay,” Janmohamed told San José Spotlight.
Contact Loan-Anh Pham at [email protected] or follow @theLoanAnhLede on Twitter.
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