This Sunday, Super Bowl 50 will thrust San Francisco—and Silicon Valley—into the national spotlight. Though the city is officially hosting Super Bowl festivities, the game itself will be played a long drive to the south at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the suburban home of tech giants such as Intel. One of the easiest ways to get from the city to the stadium is to summon an Uber. But that might not be so easy tomorrow, if drivers follow through on their pledge to protest their wages by turning off their apps ahead of the big game.
A movement to boycott the Super Bowl is bubbling up among Uber drivers in online forums and on social media threads. Protesters at a recent demonstration outside Uber’s San Francisco headquarters also called for a driver protest.
One flyer circulating online urges drivers to take Sunday off to make the point, and to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #UberSuperBowlStrike. Another calls for drivers to convene at Candlestick Park—where the NFL’s 49ers used to play in San Francisco proper—likely in order to replicate a driver caravan protest that snarled traffic on Monday in San Francisco.
All of which puts Uber in a particularly delicate position. The company snagged an official partnership with the Super Bowl Host Committee, stealing away an exclusive lot for pick-ups and drop-offs 15 minutes away from the stadium, plus a special “lounge” for riders after the game—a move seemingly designed to draw good publicity for the oft-criticized company. But that positive attention will fade quickly if drivers leave Super Bowl fans stranded… (more)
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.