San Francisco Puts Its America’s Cup Cards on the Table.


The wrangling over the venue choice for the America’s Cup still seems a little strange. Imagine a city winning the right to host the Olympics only to resell those rights at auction to the highest bidder. What message does it send to the world, that America can’t find the investment to host the world’s oldest sporting trophy? What message is BMW ORACLE sending the Facebook Generation in the USA, that they have to watch something in a totally different time zone – where a 1pm start would mean Californians would have to set the Tivo rather than watch live?

[cleeng_content id="198927689" description="99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. " price="0.99"]While rumours swirl around the announcement of the venue(s) for the next America’s Cup to be made later in the year, the city of San Francisco, the only US city still in the running for the event, has publicly come out and shown it is ready to do business. European cities in the race have not been so transparent or publicly vocal.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and other members of the Board of Supervisors have introduced a formal agreement to host the 34 th America’s Cup in San Francisco. The purpose of the agreement, or term sheet, is to set forth essential terms and conditions agreed upon by the America’s Cup Committee of the Golden Gate Yacht Club and the City of San Francisco with the Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup.

If San Francisco is selected to host the 34 th America’s Cup, the term sheet provides a framework for promptly negotiating a legally binding Host City Agreement and establishing the terms and conditions under which the San Francisco would be prepared to host the America’s Cup event, subject to all necessary approvals and environmental review required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In addition to Mayor Newsom, Board of Supervisors President Chiu and Supervisor Mirkarimi, the agreement was also initially co-sponsored by Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier, Carmen Chu, Bevan Dufty, and Sophie Maxwell.

Mayor Newsom said:

“We believe there’s no better place on earth than San Francisco Bay to defend the America’s Cup and bring millions of new fans from around the world to the oldest international sailing competition. This agreement establishes the strong partnership between the City, the BMW Oracle Racing Team and the entire community if San Francisco is fortunate to be selected as the Host City for the 34 th America’s Cup. The entire City and State of California are united behind bringing the America’s Cup – and all the economic benefits, jobs and excitement that come with it – to San Francisco.”

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu said:

“We are fully united in our efforts to bring the America’s Cup to San Francisco, and this term sheet outlines the framework of these efforts to highlight San Francisco as the only location for this event. San Franciscans would love to see this world class sailing race on our world class waterfront. The economy of the entire San Francisco Bay Area region will benefit exponentially from hosting the America’s Cup in Spring 2013.”

The stakes for the winning city are high. Leaving aside the political fallout of an American team owner and American club choosing to stage the event outside of the USA, not hosting the event in San Francisco would deny the city significant public benefits, including providing a catalyst for the repair, improvement and productive reuse of City piers along the City’s central and southern waterfront that are currently in a such state of grave disrepair that there is no other viable plan to pay for the needed repairs. Hosting the America’s Cup would also generate an enormous amount of economic development in a very short period of time, including over 9,000 jobs and more than $1.4 billion of new economic activity.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi commented:

“Having been exposed during my youth to sailing and the America’s Cup, I know we have everything race organizers need, including the expertise and will, to host the ‘World Cup’ of Sailing and make this event a monumental success. The San Francisco Bay will provide a breathtaking arena which will enable millions of everyday people to enjoy the excitement of this historic sport as never before.”

Naturally, having ‘other’ offers helps Larry Ellison get the best deal from San Francisco. The gamesmanship shown by the Californian based Defender in the last America’s Cup seems to be continuing this time around. But heavyweight political figures in the USA are rallying. According to the San Francisco Examiner, Republicans and Democrats from across California have set aside political differences to help bring the America’s Cup to San Francisco.

An Honorary Committee of the America’s Cup Organizing Committee includes Mayor Gavin Newsom, Supervisor David Chiu, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Governor Gray Davis. In addition, officials from across the United States have agreed to join the Honorary Committee, including Newport, R.I., Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.

Schwarzenegger said:

Getting Democrats and Republicans to support something together in this election season is a great feat. We can all agree that this would be a huge boost for the state of California and the America’s Cup event itself.”

Later this week, the America’s Cup Organizing Committee will announce its membership — a group of civic and business leaders from across the nation who will help tap corporate sponsors for the event.

Newsom said:

“The ACOC Honorary Committee members continue to show race organizers that we are serious about this race coming to California. With more than a billion dollars of economic activity projected for the state of California if the race moves forward, this competition would be a tremendous development for the people of this state.”

More America’s Cup Business News…[/cleeng_content]