SBD/September 24, 2013/Events and Attractions

America's Cup Results Not All Negative Despite Regatta's Multiple Setbacks

America's Cup revenue figures likely won't be available until November
Given that the America's Cup "overcame a snake-bit start to draw well over 870,000 spectators ... and spurred the city to complete more than $180 million in long-planned improvements around the waterfront," it is "not all gloom by any means," according to John Coté of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Perhaps "diminished expectations were inevitable given the initial hype" around the tournament, but it still "produced what some analysts called one of the greatest sailboat races of all time." The event has "drawn visceral reactions from its start to its now near-finish." While "plenty of people had little interest in the event, it attracted far more than just sailing enthusiasts and legions of black-shirted, folksy" New Zealanders backing their national team. The attendance figure "only includes spectators at two official venues." America's Cup Event Authority CEO Stephen Barclay contends that the figure "could more than double when you include spectators from spots around the bay like Fort Mason, Crissy Field and Aquatic Park." The event's cost to taxpayers "remains an elusive question that won't be answered for weeks." City officials said that expenses for hosting the races "will be considerably lower than its most recent projection" of about $22M. The city as of June 30 spent $13.4M on the event, with almost 8.4M of that "reimbursed by the America's Cup Organizing Committee." The group was "expected to raise" $32M to "offset city costs and won't reach that goal." The committee has raised more than $16.5M. The city "expects to get a final figure on its costs, as well as tax revenue from the event by November" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/22).

STILL THE NINERS' CITY: In N.Y., Christopher Clarey wrote there "could be no doubt about the main sporting event" in S.F. on Sunday, with Colts-49ers going on "at the same time" as the two America's Cup races. Still, the crowd at the end of the dock at America's Cup Park "was much more boisterous and pro-Oracle on Sunday than it had been earlier in the regatta." Many New Zealand fans, who had "planned their visit long in advance, have now left, and the ones who remain have not had much to cheer about lately" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/23).
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