OAKLAND, Calif. – Authorities said Friday they were beefing up security for the San Francisco 49ers' visit to the Oakland Raiders' home field on Sunday in hopes of preventing trouble that has plagued the matchup between the San Francisco Bay Area rivals in years past.
There will be more uniformed and undercover police and private security officers patrolling parking lots, tailgate areas and the stadium at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, the Raiders announced Friday.
The annual preseason game between the two teams was canceled after the 2011 matchup, when two shootings, two assaults and numerous fistfights broke out. The violence led 49ers owner Jed York to ask the NFL to call the game off, KNTV reported (http://bit.ly/1IaE633).
Sunday's matchup will be the first regular season game between the two teams since 2010, and the first time the 49ers have played in Oakland since 2002.
"I'm hoping to God that people realize it's just football," Joe Leonor, a Niners fan, told the San Francisco Examiner (http://bit.ly/1vXvqrO). "The only good that came of (the 2011 game) is that it brought to people's attention that this is about football, and not knuckleheads ruining it for the real fans."
The 49ers (7-5) need a win to stay in the playoff race. The Raiders have won only one game this season, but fan says a win over the Niners would be a source of pride.
"If we're able to knock the hated Santa Clara-Frisco 49ers out of the playoffs with a loss, there'll be nothing better than that," Rob Rivera told the Examiner.
Rivera said he didn't want anything negative to mar the game.
"I'm 48 years old, man. I have two young daughters," he said. "The last thing I want to be a part of is a group that's going to be any sort of trouble."