SAN FRANCISCO -- The big corporate money to pay for Super Bowl 50 keeps coming, and now the Bay Area -- well, San Francisco, at least -- has its own logo to match the hype.

The Bay Area Super Bowl Host Committee on Thursday announced it had raised $40 million -- up from $30 million a year ago -- to offset all the taxpayer costs of hosting the nation's biggest sporting event.

The Super Bowl comes to the San Francisco 49ers' new Santa Clara stadium in February 2016. The private funds will pay for traffic control, police overtime and other public costs associated with having hordes of visitors descending on the region for Super Bowl week.

The host committee on Thursday also unveiled a new local Super Bowl logo that highlights the Bay Area as a region, but with special focus on -- you guessed it -- San Francisco.

Designed to resemble a commemorative coin, the gold logo is ringed with the words "SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA" and features a football soaring through a giant Golden Gate Bridge. It gives no indication that the game will be played in Santa Clara, similar to the committee's Golden Gate Bridge-themed logo last year, when it was bidding for the game.

However, the group has since scrapped its old "SF Super Bowl" theme in favor of calling it the Bay Area's game. Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews was on hand for Thursday's event, while San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, who was out of town, also was invited.


Advertisement

The committee has recently pushed harder to market the event as a regional spectacle, with attractions ranging from Wine Country to Pebble Beach in Monterey County, though the bulk of the pregame events will be in the official host city, San Francisco. The actual Super Bowl and the popular media day will be at the $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium, which opens in eight weeks.

The update comes slightly more than a year after NFL owners voted to award the Bay Area with the 50th Super Bowl, which is now 20 months away. And it comes a day after the NFL stirred up the football world by revealing that it would be ditching its traditional Roman numeral format for the Bay Area game only, deciding to call it Super Bowl 50 instead of Super Bowl L.

"Breaking tradition is something we're excited to be a part of," said Keith Bruce, the committee's CEO. "50's just more powerful."

The league on Wednesday had also put out a large, simple gold-themed logo of its own to mark the Super Bowl's golden anniversary. The NFL also released a regional logo that features Levi's Stadium in the forefront and the San Francisco skyline, the Muir Woods redwoods and, yes, the Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded in fog, in the background. Most people around the country will see the NFL logos, while the local emblem revealed Thursday will only be used by the host committee and in local literature.

As for the San Francisco theme of the logo, designed by San Anselmo-based artist Michael Schwab, Bruce said the vision was to take one image that sums up the Bay Area as opposed to pulling out specific parts of the region. And it couldn't use Santa Clara's biggest landmark, the new stadium, because the league owns legal rights to the image.

"We wanted something that was really historic, instead of just a loud sports logo," Schwab added.

In a showman style typical of even minor pro football reveals, the committee unveiled the logo at a news conference at San Francisco's Exploratorium. It began with a slick pump-up video that left the crowd with the impression that the Bay Area has done just about everything except cure cancer. It ends with the tag line: "We're not just hosting a Super Bowl, we're redefining it."

Local officials also lauded the NFL's decision to ditch the Roman numerals for its 50th championship game. While there is a connotation that "L" often stands for the opposite of winners, local leaders said it was more about making it simple for fans.

"You'd have to go back to grade-school math class to remember what comes after L," 49ers owner John York said. "I hope that it's changed for good."

York said the NFL will likely discuss a move to Arabic numerals for future games if the Bay Area's Super Bowl works well. The NFL has already decided to go back to Roman numerals for at least Super Bowl LI the following year, though.

The fundraising milestone comes after the committee, in trying to lure the game, last year announced partnerships with several major locally based companies such as tech titans Apple, Google, Yahoo and Intel. They each gave $2 million in cash and other services in exchange for a Super Bowl suite and publicity. It's unclear how much the event will cost Bay Area taxpayers, but the private funds raised are expected to cover the total price tag.

The new companies joining this year, to amount for the extra $10 million, include Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health and Sonoma County Tourism.

"It's kind of like a football contract," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said, a day after the Niners inked quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a blockbuster contract extension. "It just gets bigger."

Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at Twitter.com/rosenbergmerc.