A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee on Wednesday sent an agreement between city officials and organizers of the America’s Cup sailing race to the full board for consideration.
The board’s budget and finance committee voted 2-1 to move forward the agreement, under which race organizers would rebuild aging piers in exchange for the rights to develop waterfront property in the city.
The board will vote on the agreement Tuesday.
The international sailing race will take place in September 2013, with related competitions starting this August. San Francisco was named the host city after Oracle CEO won the previous America’s Cup in 2010 and got to choose the location of the next contest.
City officials negotiated an agreement with Ellison and other race organizers, and the negotiations have continued through this week over which piers and properties would be included in the deal.
Race organizers announced at Wednesday’s committee hearing that they would no longer seek to include Pier 29, a property near Telegraph Hill, in the deal.
Board president David Chiu, whose district includes that pier, called that concession “a big deal.”
Kyri McClellan from the America’s Cup Organizing Committee, which is tasked with raising private funds to compensate for the city’s costs, also agreed to have $12 million in cash on hand by June 30.
While the city pushed for more concessions, Stephen Barclay, who is leading negotiations for the race organizers, told supervisors, “The (America’s Cup) Event Authority is not prepared to go any further.”
Mike Martin, the America’s Cup project director for the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, encouraged the committee to move the plan ahead as quickly as possible.
“Based on construction schedules, we need to have board approvals by next week’s Feb. 28 meeting to move ahead with those,” Martin said.
But Supervisor John Avalos, the lone member of the committee who voted against sending the agreement to the full board, said he thought more time was needed to consider the agreement.
“It makes it very difficult with that contracted time to make good decisions,” Avalos said. “I think we could spend a little more time to figure things out.”
The other two supervisors on the committee, Jane Kim and Carmen Chu, voted to send the agreement to the full board without a recommendation.
Chu called the race “an exciting opportunity” to improve the city and enhance its economy.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News