Start of NFL season marked with waterfront celebration

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco waterfront is imbued with extra excitement Thursday with a celebration party for the start of the NFL season that will culminate with Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara early next year.

The two-day "Kickoff to 50" celebration at San Francisco's Pier 35 and Justin Herman Plaza finishes up at 5:30 p.m. today, when the NFL season officially gets started in Foxborough, Massachusetts, with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the New England Patriots.

Thursday’s free events in San Francisco include a chance to see eight Super Bowl championship trophies earned by the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. There will also be a concert today by pop singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding and San Francisco rock band Train.

Plenty of former Bay Area football stars will be on hand throughout the day, including former 49ers and Raiders running back Roger Craig, Raiders wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, Raiders linebacker Ted Hendricks, 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes, Raiders tight end Raymond Chester and 49ers wide receiver John Taylor.

There will also be activities for children, opportunities to win prizes like Super Bowl tickets and a Hyundai Tucson, and displays of memorabilia from the Raiders' and 49ers' storied histories.

More information about the events can be found online at

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