SF Won’t Be Hosting The Next America’s Cup, Last Year’s Race Lost SF $11.5 Million

A day after San Francisco was eliminated as a candidate to host the next America’s Cup, Mayor Ed Lee released a statement saying the city put forth a strong proposal to host the famous sailboat races.

According to Lee’s statement, the proposal to host the 35th America’s Cup in 2017 was one that “maximized economic benefit, minimized taxpayer risk and applied valuable lessons learned from hosting the 34th America’s Cup along our city’s world famous waterfront.”

San Diego, Bermuda and Chicago are still in the running to host the event.

San Francisco is the hometown of Oracle Team USA, the winner of the 2013 America’s Cup. Lee had said for months the city wanted to seek a better deal if it was chosen as the site of the next regatta.

In February, the city’s budget and legislative analyst released a report that determined San Francisco lost $11.5 million from hosting the 2013 America’s Cup.

The city had a net loss of about $6 million to its general fund and $5.5 million to its port because of the costs in hosting the race, according to the report.

City officials predicted more than $1 billion in tax revenues and economic benefits, but far fewer teams than expected ended up participating in the races, and San Francisco ended up getting only 27 percent of the impact the city had predicted, according to the report.

America’s Cup organizers had also pledged to bring in private money to offset costs to the city but fell short of fundraising goals.

The races were also marked by tragedy and uncontested races.

Andrew “Bart” Simpson, a 36-year-old British sailor and member of the Sweden-based Artemis Racing team, was killed when the team’s boat capsized on the Bay on May 9.

The damage to the team’s boat caused by that accident forced Artemis to sit out most of its preliminary races, leaving other teams to sail uncontested. In addition, the Italian team, Luna Rossa, sat out other races due to a dispute with race officials over safety rules.

Lee said in the statement today that last year’s America’s Cup races were “spectacular,” and he wished team owner Larry Ellison, Team Oracle USA and the America’s Cup Event Authority the best in finding a host for the 2017 event.

“I’m proud of San Francisco’s success in hosting this international sporting event,” he said in the statement. We proved once again we are ready to host the world’s biggest events.”

Dennis Culver, Bay City News

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