Yacht Rock: San Diego "Optimistic" About Chances Of Landing '17 America's Cup
Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners Chair Don Nelson, who is leading the city's bid to land the '17 America's Cup, said he is “excited and optimistic” about the city’s chances, according to Bill Center in a special to the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. San Diego is reportedly “battling Chicago and Bermuda for the event, which will probably be held” in June ’17, with the finals ending around July 4. The list of candidates will be “trimmed to two by the end of the month.” Dennis Conner “brought the America’s Cup to San Diego for three defenses,” in ‘88, ‘92 and ‘95. However, the ‘17 America’s Cup would be “much different than the first three hosted by San Diego.” The race course would be “inside San Diego Bay and not on the ocean off Point Loma,” and it will be “sailed in 62-foot, high-performance catamarans.” The Port of San Diego “already has many of the facilities the teams would need.” One of the “challenges facing all three finalists will be meeting Oracle’s yet-to-be-named physical and financial demands.” Oracle Team USA has “hinted that it wants corporate involvement, with an eye toward making the venue open to as many spectators as possible” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/13). Meanwhile, a delegation from Oracle Team USA is presently in Bermuda to “scrutinise the Island’s bid to host” the event. Team officials traveled to Bermuda this week to “meet with a team, headed up by Economic Development Minister Grant Gibbons, that submitted the bid." A Bermuda race would “create another precedent in that it would be the first time that an American defender has taken the venue from the United States” (ROYALGAZETTE.com, 6/12).
THE SAN FRANCISCO RETREAT: S.F. is not among the finalists despite hosting the event last year, and the S.F. BUSINESS TIMES' Eric Young noted it was “unclear how badly the America’s Cup wanted to return ... and how badly the city’s officialdom wanted it to come back.” Cup officials, “speaking privately over the past several months, seemed lukewarm to the chances of the event returning to San Francisco Bay.” While the teams “enjoyed competing on bay waters, a major real estate deal that was part of the Cup’s original agreement with the city fell through.” Meanwhile, S.F. officials reported that the America's Cup "spurred only a fraction of the economic impact that was originally estimated” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/11).