Last week, the city's budget analyst released an in-depth report claiming San Francisco would lose up to $143 million if it hosted the America's Cup regatta based on the offer currently on the table. Budget Analyst Harvey Rose stressed to SF Weekly that, despite the objections of the mayor's office, "not one cent" of the $32 million in private funds that will supposedly be ponied up is guaranteed.
A revised report based on more up-to-date numbers is due this Wednesday -- but Rose said he didn't expect it to be vastly different than the accounting that showed the city would lose at least $42 million staging the America's Cup, and forgo some $86 million in revenue by giving away prime waterfront land to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Meanwhile, Supervisor Chris Daly -- who has positioned himself to be to San Francisco's America's Cup what that iceberg was to the Titanic's maiden voyage -- said that, all things being even, Rose's report should sink efforts to stage the race here.
But all things aren't
"Of course things aren't even. This is the United States," says Daly. The outgoing District 6 supervisor thinks it'll take more than a report saying the city will take a huge bath in hosting this event and is potentially ceding millions to a billionaire to shut down the America's Cup express.
Daly has no idea what to expect from Wednesday's forthcoming report, and also doesn't know what his colleagues are thinking about hosting the race -- only Daly and John Avalos voted against the term sheet Rose now claims would put the city in a massive hole.
"I wouldn't call myself a yachting fan," deadpanned Daly. But "If the city could make money on it, I'll take it." The polarizing supe noted that he'd be taken as crazy if he suggested investing hundreds of millions of dollars of money San Francisco doesn't have in social programs. "But for a boat race, when the math is fuzzy, apparently we can do that."
Daly acknowledged that there are definitely some people who have decided to support the city's America's Cup bid solely because he is against it.
"But they're idiots," he surmised. "I'm for democracy. Are they against that? I like college basketball. Are they against that, too?"
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