SBD/February 11, 2014/Events and Attractions

New Analysis Shows S.F. Lost $11.5M In Hosting The '13 America's Cup

Last year's America's Cup was projected to create $1.4B in economic impact
S.F.'s debt from the '13 America's Cup "doubled Monday, with updated figures showing the city lost" $11.5M hosting the event, according to a front-page piece by John Cote of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Preliminary figures released in December showed that the regatta "had cost taxpayers at least" $5.5M, but that number "did not include expenses for the Port of San Francisco." The latest analysis also presented "a mixed picture on the economic benefits for San Franciscans, finding that officials failed to track local hiring and the inclusion of small businesses" during the '12 events. Hosting the America's Cup "did not turn into the financial windfall that organizers and city officials had hoped for." Limited by the "global economic crisis, few teams were willing to spend" the $100M or more needed to "field a competitive team in new, 72-foot, high-tech catamarans used last year." Projections in '10 that the races would create $1.4B in economic impact for S.F. "fell well short," with the figure instead coming in at $364M. The $1.4B estimate was "based on 15 teams competing, but only four did" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/11).

BACK TO THE BAY? In S.F., Al Saracevic notes to bring the America's Cup back to the city in '17, Oracle Team USA CEO of Tactics Russell Coutts "wants the city to pony up the cost of the venues, the police security and the utility connections, just like last time." The city wants Oracle CEO Larry Ellison "to pay those expenses, thus reducing taxpayer exposure." Saracevic: "We'll let those discussions unfold at City Hall. But I wouldn't bet against Ellison." He "tends to win these things," and if he "doesn't, he'll take his sailboats and go play elsewhere." Hawaii and San Diego are "two top alternatives." But S.F. "should strike a fair deal with Coutts and his Oracle team." It might have "cost the city money, in terms of free rent and utility connections, but there was trickle-down economic impact throughout the city." If the Oracle team "acts on the lessons learned in 2013, it should be smoother sailing" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/11).
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