America's Cup Host Cities For '17 Narrowed Down To Three, S.F. Out Of Consideration
America's Cup officials have “reduced the prospective venues for the next regatta from four to three, and it appears San Francisco has been eliminated,” according to Bernie Wilson of the AP. Oracle Team USA CEO Russell Coutts “wouldn't confirm which city is out,” but it has been “known for months that San Francisco -- the hometown of Oracle Team USA -- hasn't offered terms as attractive as those offered by San Diego, Bermuda and Chicago to host the final rounds” of the ‘17 regatta. Unified Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners Chair Bob Nelson “confirmed that his city's bid has advanced.” Although the ‘13 America's Cup was “troubled in many ways, racing on San Francisco Bay was spectacular.” But America's Cup officials have been “unhappy that San Francisco officials aren't offering the same terms as last year, including free rent for piers as well as police, fire and other services.” S.F. “probably has the best sailing conditions, but Coutts has made it clear that commercial considerations are important for the next America's Cup.” If Bermuda is chosen, it could be a “controversial decision,” as it would be the “first time a U.S. defender held the America's Cup outside” the U.S. It is believed that Bermuda's bid “contains an income tax break for those participating in the America's Cup, similar" to what Valencia, Spain offered for the '07 and '10 events. Bermuda is “closer to Europe than the other potential venues, an important consideration for TV and potential sponsors.” Meanwhile, Chicago “remains a mystery candidate,” but neither side has commented due to “confidentiality agreements” (AP, 6/10).
ARM WRESTLING: In Chicago, Blake Schuster writes for a city to host the event, the nearby body of water on which the race would occur must be on the sea or "an arm of the sea." An '84 New York Supreme Court decision ruled that “under this criterion, a boat from Chicago could challenge for the Cup because Lake Michigan is considered to be an arm of the sea.” If Chicago were selected, it would be the “first time the race would be held on a lake.” Nelson: "The America's Cup is now all about arena racing, having the races occur within sight of the shore so you can have a much broader part of the public enjoy the sport. The shoreline in Chicago is obviously very interesting in terms of that." Chicago Yacht Club BOD member Lou Sandoval “speculated that if Chicago does host the race” in ‘17, the city would also be “awarded the America's Cup World Series” from ‘15-16 and the Louis Vuitton Cup, which is the America's Cup qualifying race (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/10).