america-cupsf.jpgElsbernd: “He has a point here”

Supervisor Chris Daly vowed Tuesday to use any means necessary — the California Environmental Quality Act, lawsuits — to stop the 34th America’s Cup from coming to San Francisco.

And crazy as it sounds, it could work, one of his Board opponents told the Appeal.

“I will bring a white squall to make sure those boats never see the water,” Daly said during a lengthy speech, shortened by some of his colleagues who invoked the Board’s rarely-used 10 minute rule (in which a long-winded supe is essentially made to shut up).

“I know environmental law… I have some resources,” said Daly, who added that he “knows how things work around here.”

“I don’t need the phone number of a Swiss billionaire to figure out how to get something done when you need some resources.”

Is he crazy? Well, yes, but consider: perennial Panhandle political candidate and blogger Rob Anderson successfully derailed the city’s Bicycle Plan for five years through a CEQA lawsuit. Thanks to Anderson’s efforts, San Francisco was forced to spend time and money completing a full environmental impact review (EIR) before work on the Bicycle Plan was allowed to begin.

As any land-use wonk or environmental warrior knows, CEQA requirements are expansive and exhaustive, and lawsuits thereof can be lengthy and expensive.

“On this one, he [Daly] is not crazy,” Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, an attorney by trade, told the Appeal. The Bicycle Plan imbroglio is precedent, so too is the city’s preparation to host the 2012 Olympics. When that term sheet was voted on in 2003, all the prep work — analyst reports, environmental reports — were approved prior to the Board voting on a term sheet like Tuesday’s. “On this one, he has valid points,” Elsbernd added.

City officials have repeatedly said that the bid to attract Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to host the America’s Cup in San Francisco is both time and money-sensitive. Could a lengthy lawsuit or other organized opposition in San Francisco lead Ellison to host the race in the other two municipal contenders vying for the race: Valencia, Spain or a coastal town near Rome in Italy?

Earlier in the meeting, Daly repeated comments made Monday, openly questioning the fiscal impact of the America’s Cup, stating that hosting the race would cost the city’s general fund “tens of millions of dollars,” and demanding that a Budget Analyst’s Office report be completed before the nonbinding term sheet is approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The Port of San Francisco has said that $150 million is required to repair Piers 30-32 and Pier 50, relocate tenants and otherwise prepare its property for the race. Mayor Gavin Newsom has said that he can milk private investors for $270 million. Under Newsom’s tentative deal, Ellison and his business partners would receive rent-free long-term leases on port property, including valuable Seawall Lot 330, on which developers can build up to 100 feet.

Daly opposes the race because he “prefers poor people… to billionaire yacht races,” in his own words, but it’s also a wee bit personal. Daly is termed out in January, but it is his district that will host the race sites on Piers 30-32, Pier 50 and Seawall Lot 330, all Port of San Francisco property.

Daly was not informed of the city’s bid to host the race until he read it in the newspaper, he said. “That lack of outreach was unfortunate,” said District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who added that comments made Saturday by Mayor Gavin Newsom — “Daly who?” — also didn’t help.

“And there are questions about this term sheet,” Campos added, naming local hiring as a concern. “You have to mention work force in the term sheet… my constituents don’t talk to me about America’s Cup – how is America’s Cup going to affect people in the Mission, in Portola, in Bernal, in Bayview?” Campos asked. “How exactly is this race going to help small businesses?”

Daly is alone among his Board colleagues in opposing the race, but Supervisor John Avalos, Daly’s former legislative aide, joined him Tuesday in voting against approval of the term sheet. “I feel like we’re jumping the gun in rolling out the red carpet for a billionaire,” Avalos said.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who counted the billionaire software mogul Ellison as “one of my District 2 constituents,” was emphatic in her support for the race. “I pray to God that Mr. Ellison says yes,” she said. “I cannot be stronger in my feelings to make sure that those boats see that Bay.

“And thank God we did not get the Olympics,” Alioto-Pier added, referencing the city’s failed bid for the 2012 Games. “Because the America’s Cup fits the history of the Bay” far better.

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  • Mission Street

    What was the rating on ESPN the last time the America’s Cup raced? Have you ever watched a sailboat race. Thought so. Its slow and boring unless you have great access and a big expensive camera.

    That Billionaire didn’t become a billionaire by being making contracts that are not extremely favorable to him. Let’s be careful before we sign a contract to give prime water front real estate to a Billionaire for 75 years for free because he wants to hold a sporting event that almost no one ever watches.

  • Mission Street

    What was the rating on ESPN the last time the America’s Cup raced? Have you ever watched a sailboat race. Thought so. Its slow and boring unless you have great access and a big expensive camera.

    That Billionaire didn’t become a billionaire by being making contracts that are not extremely favorable to him. Let’s be careful before we sign a contract to give prime water front real estate to a Billionaire for 75 years for free because he wants to hold a sporting event that almost no one ever watches.

  • AC34inSF

    Mission Street, have you ever sailed let alone raced on a boat? You make a point of talking about ESPN and low numbers, do you know the real numbers of what the AC is?

    http://33rd.americascup.com/en/actualite/news/the-33rd-americas-cup-in-numbers-19-2960

    Above numbers were for an abbreviated AC Cycle. It is the oldest trophy in sport, arguably one of the most prestigious trophies as well. Just because you do not watch it does not mean the world does not watch.

  • AC34inSF

    Mission Street, have you ever sailed let alone raced on a boat? You make a point of talking about ESPN and low numbers, do you know the real numbers of what the AC is?

    http://33rd.americascup.com/en/actualite/news/the-33rd-americas-cup-in-numbers-19-2960

    Above numbers were for an abbreviated AC Cycle. It is the oldest trophy in sport, arguably one of the most prestigious trophies as well. Just because you do not watch it does not mean the world does not watch.

  • Mission Street

    Hi AC34inSF

    Thanks for your interest in the topic.

    Yes I have sailed before. Here is a link to the boat I sailed http://yachtpals.com/olympics-sailing-laser3011 I was good at sailing a laser.

    The point that you have to question if I have sailed, just reinforces that few people have ever sailed before. And only a tiny number have ever sail raced before. Plus, sailing is not a good spectator sport. The link you provided just shows big numbers of people are not interested in watching sailing.

    People are interested in the 49er, and we have almost lost them to Santa Clara. I’m glad we did not offer them a prime waterfront lot for 75 years rent free. People are interesting in the Giants, and with the Giants we voted down two crappy stadium deals before we got to a good deal.

    Lets not just sign the first deal that a Billionare offers, he got his money by negotiating hard, and we shouldn’t just roll over,.

  • Mission Street

    Hi AC34inSF

    Thanks for your interest in the topic.

    Yes I have sailed before. Here is a link to the boat I sailed http://yachtpals.com/olympics-sailing-laser3011 I was good at sailing a laser.

    The point that you have to question if I have sailed, just reinforces that few people have ever sailed before. And only a tiny number have ever sail raced before. Plus, sailing is not a good spectator sport. The link you provided just shows big numbers of people are not interested in watching sailing.

    People are interested in the 49er, and we have almost lost them to Santa Clara. I’m glad we did not offer them a prime waterfront lot for 75 years rent free. People are interesting in the Giants, and with the Giants we voted down two crappy stadium deals before we got to a good deal.

    Lets not just sign the first deal that a Billionare offers, he got his money by negotiating hard, and we shouldn’t just roll over,.

  • areallyniceguy

    I am a hard-working progressive (gasp!) guy who lives in San Francisco and works in the hospitality industry. My ability to make money is based on a pretty simple formula; when my hotel is busy, I get more work hours and make more money. There are thousands of people in my shoes. When hotel workers are busy, so are restaurants workers, store clerks, cab drivers, museum workers, etc. When we make money, we are able to spend more money in restaurants, stores, on taxis, and visiting our cultural institutions, etc. In other words, we spread our love around the city we love.

    Chris Daly does not love us, nor does he love San Francisco. Be prepared to see him pull off as many hateful political stunts as possible before he leaves office.

  • areallyniceguy

    I am a hard-working progressive (gasp!) guy who lives in San Francisco and works in the hospitality industry. My ability to make money is based on a pretty simple formula; when my hotel is busy, I get more work hours and make more money. There are thousands of people in my shoes. When hotel workers are busy, so are restaurants workers, store clerks, cab drivers, museum workers, etc. When we make money, we are able to spend more money in restaurants, stores, on taxis, and visiting our cultural institutions, etc. In other words, we spread our love around the city we love.

    Chris Daly does not love us, nor does he love San Francisco. Be prepared to see him pull off as many hateful political stunts as possible before he leaves office.

  • AC34inSF

    Mission Street, big fan of and much love for the Laser, got one for my 16th birthday in lieu of a car.

    After 35 years on the water, 31 of them racing 14-70ft yachts all over North America I am sad to see so much hate/misunderstanding for the sport we love… especially from those in it. As a fellow sailor I am surprised at your hesitation to allow for the AC to be held in San Francisco.

    It is a tremendous chance to showcase the sport and the ancillary opportunities to introduce kids to the sport we have grown up loving are limitless if this is done right. Those on the BWW/Oracle as well as Mascalzone Latino Audi seem to be making the right moves and I see no reason this will not be a boon to Small Boat classes in SF. I am sure you agree that we need more young blood in this sport.

  • AC34inSF

    Mission Street, big fan of and much love for the Laser, got one for my 16th birthday in lieu of a car.

    After 35 years on the water, 31 of them racing 14-70ft yachts all over North America I am sad to see so much hate/misunderstanding for the sport we love… especially from those in it. As a fellow sailor I am surprised at your hesitation to allow for the AC to be held in San Francisco.

    It is a tremendous chance to showcase the sport and the ancillary opportunities to introduce kids to the sport we have grown up loving are limitless if this is done right. Those on the BWW/Oracle as well as Mascalzone Latino Audi seem to be making the right moves and I see no reason this will not be a boon to Small Boat classes in SF. I am sure you agree that we need more young blood in this sport.

  • AC34inSF

    From my link –
    “- 1,200,000 unique visitors
    – 656,000 unique visitors watched the live racing direct through the official web site
    – (this audience does not include the streaming broadcasting by 350 other Internet sites worldwide)”

    650,000 unique visitors watching live online from the official website (of which I did not go through I used a different one) for an 2-3 race event that was on a wavering schedule due to weather spread out over a week… Impressive numbers I would say for something you say is not all that popular.

  • AC34inSF

    From my link –
    “- 1,200,000 unique visitors
    – 656,000 unique visitors watched the live racing direct through the official web site
    – (this audience does not include the streaming broadcasting by 350 other Internet sites worldwide)”

    650,000 unique visitors watching live online from the official website (of which I did not go through I used a different one) for an 2-3 race event that was on a wavering schedule due to weather spread out over a week… Impressive numbers I would say for something you say is not all that popular.

  • Al

    The question is not “is it popular” or “would it be a nice event to have in SF”. The question is, “is it a good use of tens if not hundreds of millions of SF taxpayers’ dollars. If they want to host it here and pay for it, by all means. If they want the city to pay for it, absolutely not, unless it is ab-so-lute-ly guaranteed that the city will benefit in excess of what it spends. And “it will bring BILLIONS to the city” doesn’t cut it (just like the Olympics and every sports stadium are supposed to bring massive benefits to their host cities, but twenty years later, the debts are still being paid off).

  • Al

    The question is not “is it popular” or “would it be a nice event to have in SF”. The question is, “is it a good use of tens if not hundreds of millions of SF taxpayers’ dollars. If they want to host it here and pay for it, by all means. If they want the city to pay for it, absolutely not, unless it is ab-so-lute-ly guaranteed that the city will benefit in excess of what it spends. And “it will bring BILLIONS to the city” doesn’t cut it (just like the Olympics and every sports stadium are supposed to bring massive benefits to their host cities, but twenty years later, the debts are still being paid off).

  • AC34inSF

    yes it is a good use of the money and pier space.

  • AC34inSF

    yes it is a good use of the money and pier space.

  • JayDizzletonTheFourth

    Al is right, forget the old adage of you have to spend money to make money… Reality is, if you can get someone else to pay for it, you make money for free, and thus increase your margins.

    On a side note, who cares about sailing. Can anyone name the last NCAA Sailing champion without looking it up? Money aside, why should the city of San Francisco make sailing enthusiasts happy. People come to cities to hole up in their houses, and go to the suburbs to experience unique events bringing together different cultures, ideologies, and traditions.

  • JayDizzletonTheFourth

    Al is right, forget the old adage of you have to spend money to make money… Reality is, if you can get someone else to pay for it, you make money for free, and thus increase your margins.

    On a side note, who cares about sailing. Can anyone name the last NCAA Sailing champion without looking it up? Money aside, why should the city of San Francisco make sailing enthusiasts happy. People come to cities to hole up in their houses, and go to the suburbs to experience unique events bringing together different cultures, ideologies, and traditions.

  • AC34inSF

    Who cares about Sailing? Actually there are quite a few people that care about sailing.

    Between San Diego, Newport, Valencia, and a few places in Italy are making a serious run for the right to host the Cup. I feel that it say a lot about the Mayor and Supervisors that they recognize what the AC and it’s history can mean to the GGYC and the city.

    What is your sport JD, have you ever been out on a boat? Yacht Racing, like Soccer is actually respected and watched around the World, your US-Centric view of the world is rather shallow and shortsighted.

  • AC34inSF

    Who cares about Sailing? Actually there are quite a few people that care about sailing.

    Between San Diego, Newport, Valencia, and a few places in Italy are making a serious run for the right to host the Cup. I feel that it say a lot about the Mayor and Supervisors that they recognize what the AC and it’s history can mean to the GGYC and the city.

    What is your sport JD, have you ever been out on a boat? Yacht Racing, like Soccer is actually respected and watched around the World, your US-Centric view of the world is rather shallow and shortsighted.