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Friday, November 26, 2010

America's Cup: No 'Dramatic Swing' in Cost to City in New Report -- It'll Still Cost a Ton

Posted By on Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge Still sinking...
  • Still sinking...

Last week, the city's budget analyst released an eye-catching report claiming that San Francisco would lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars should it see fit to host the America's Cup regatta on the terms currently before the city.

The mayor's office dropped into a defensive crouch, and predicted a second paper from the budget analyst, due out this week, would paint a rosier portrait of the city as the worldwide yachting Mecca.

Well, that's not going to happen. Since the Budget and Finance Committee failed to calendar the item, the report's expected completion date has been pushed back to Dec. 1 or Dec. 2. But lead author Fred Brousseau told SF Weekly there wouldn't be a "dramatic swing" in the numbers from the earlier report: A projected $42 million shortfall in hosting the event, and some $86 million in foregone revenue via giving away prime waterfront land to yachting billionaire Larry Ellison. 

The forthcoming report is based on the "Host City Agreement," while the first paper was based off of a nonbinding term sheet approved by the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 5.

Brousseau notes that the agreement gives San Francisco a lot more flexibility on what venues to build -- or not build -- and where to locate them. A number of venues are named within the report, and those are the ones he's basing his numerical projections on. But the city could build elsewhere, too -- and, therefore, financial outcomes the budget analyst's office couldn't have predicted are still possible.

Based on the list of venues included within the Host City Agreement, however, Brousseau noted that any hopes the America's Cup would start looking like a boon for the coffers of the city and county have sprung a leak. "We're not seeing that," he says.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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