San Diego To Submit '17 America's Cup Bid, As Negotiations With S.F. Near Stalemate
The Port of San Diego "voted unanimously last Tuesday to submit a bid by March 3 to host the 35th America’s Cup defense on San Diego Bay" in August '17, according to Bill Center of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The move came after Oracle Team USA CEO of Tactics Russell Coutts "contacted leading San Diego America’s Cup backers over the past two months testing the waters for a possible move of the event" from S.F. Bay. The '13 event in S.F., the "first America’s Cup not sailed on the open ocean drew huge crowds to several shoreline venues." However, negotiations between S.F. and Oracle Team USA were "difficult" before the '13 event and "appear headed toward a stalemate" for '17. Although the event "has the support" of S.F. Mayor Ed Lee, it is "opposed by other Bay Area politicians opposed to public subsidies." With negotiations with S.F. stalled, Coutts has "reached out to at least four other venues," including San Diego and possibly Hawaii, Newport, R.I., and Long Beach, Calif. Sailing Events Association San Diego Chair Chuck Nichols and former America’s Cup sailor Malin Burnham "believe San Diego has an edge over the other potential venues," including S.F., for "a number of reasons." Burnham said, "We have a number of sites on both sides of San Diego Bay where we could build facilities for spectators at little expense. And the racing would be closer to the shore than even on San Francisco Bay" (UTSANDIEGO.com, 2/15).