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Monday, December 13, 2010

America's Cup: Daly, Newsom, Number-Crunchers On Board. Race Organizers Are Not.

Posted By on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 11:11 AM

click to enlarge Meanwhile, at the Budget and Finance Committee...
  • Meanwhile, at the Budget and Finance Committee...

Supervisor Chris Daly has told SF Weekly he's ready to call off his cannonade against the city's bid to host the America's Cup. The mayor's people are obviously on board. And, finally, two more economic feasibility studies on the cup bid were released this morning.

The ninth and 10th studies -- from the city's budget analyst and controller -- both predict the cup will either be a break-even deal for San Francisco or a moneymaker -- whereas prior studies postulated serious monetary losses for the city.

It seems everyone is on board. Except for the race's organizers.

The Budget Analyst's third fiscal feasibility report predicts the city will lose $11.9 million in the short term -- down from a massive $58 million loss on prior deals that included development rights on Pier 50. Yet, in the long term, the city stands to gain $12.3 million via the deal on the table. "No question, this is a significant improvement to the prior deal," says Harvey Rose, the city's budget analyst. "It's absolutely fiscally feasible."

The controller's report, meanwhile, forecast $13.3 million in losses for hosting the event. In years to come, however, development would reap the city nearly $24 million and create thousands of jobs.

What comes next, however, appears to be a high-stakes game of nautical chicken. Will the America's Cup organizers insist on development rights to Pier 50 -- even though the budget analyst's report states that would cost the city an extra $46 million, and essentially sink the city's offer? Will Dubai or some other cash-rich locale be able to entice away the organizers?

The "Northern Waterfront Alternative" plan everyone in the city likes but the race organizers have deemed dead on arrival will be voted on this afternoon by the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee. It will likely move on to the full board tomorrow.

Daly, for one, predicted the city will put this plan forward as its final bid. And, after that -- come what may.

"These guys are captains of industry and they're trying to get their deal," he said. "Unfortunately for them, what they really want would cost the city a whole lot of money. We ain't doing it now."

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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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