SFPD to crack down on alcohol, tailgating at Saturday's game

The exterior of the Candlestick Park, the San Francisco 49ers football stadium, is shown before an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders in San Francisco, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
August 26, 2011 8:43:37 PM PDT
Both the police and the 49ers are promising there will not be a repeat of last weekend's violence at Saturday's game at Candlestick. The 49ers are playing Houston in another pre-season game, but this time there will be more police and less tailgating.

Head of NFL security head Jeff Miller flew out to San Francisco from New York Friday and will be here at Saturday's game to ensure that there isn't a repeat of what happened last weekend.

Miller says the way to stop trouble from happening is to intervene early -- get police into the parking lot tailgate areas, patrolling in force with two man teams, engaging with fans and ensuring their safety.

Tailgating will be restricted. The gates will open four hours before the 5 p.m. kickoff, but once the game starts, tailgating in the parking lot will stop.

"You either have to use your ticket and go into the game and watch the game or if you don't have a ticket or don't intend on entering the facility you need to leave you need to vacate the area," Miller said.

San Francisco police are promising a stepped up presence, but won't give specific numbers. Prior to last weekend, the numbers of police at 49er games has been steadily reduced.

"Unfortunately, the way the economy situation is they've been cutting down on the number of officers; seems like every year they get less and less and less but as the economy takes a nose dive it would behoove the city to have more law enfocement out there," SFPD Offc. Carl Payne said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said earlier this week that he had staffed extra police at Saturday's game with the Raiders.

Fans flying in from Texas this weekend's game say they have heard about what happened last week

"It's a little alarming, I mean we're definitely going to be cautious and safe and stay in a big group but I'm not too worried about it," Clare Taylor said.

Reports of the fighting were carried in newspapers in Brazil, but Alexandre Marquez had already made plans for his U.S. trip including tickets to the game.

"And we were concerned about it, because my wife and couple friends, but it seems to me that the problem was with the visitors I guess," Marquez said.

He doesn't think the Houston game will be nearly as rowdy.

49er fan Bill McMillan says he'll watch the team on TV this season.

"It's too bad they're going to cut out the Raider and the 49er games because of a few rowdies, it isn't fair," McMillan said.

As for Payne's assertion of a cut back in police at the 49ers games, a spokesperson for the 49ers says he was unaware of any cut back and a spokesperson for the police department says it isn't true.

Miller says he keeps track of those numbers and he'll check them when he gets back to his office in New York. Miller says he expects to meet with Suhr on Saturday; he'll also be at the game, working.


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