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Sunk Costs: The America's Cup Price Tag Keeps Growing 

Tuesday, Aug 5 2014
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In order to track the money expended on the America's Cup, the city set up a central, overarching account akin to one for a single project. That way it was easy to follow the flow of funds to various and sundry America's Cup tasks and the influx of privately raised dollars into the pool.

Just one problem: Those privately raised funds didn't materialize. The outflow continued unabated, however. And, earlier this year, a Budget and Legislative Analyst report pegged the Cup-related costs to the city at $11.5 million.

The regatta and the city have since parted ways. And, it turns out, the costs were far greater than that.

While it's simple, albeit painful, to track the cash expended on the Cup from the city's central account, the costs absorbed by individual city departments' operating budgets are less apparent. But, earlier this summer, Muni determined how much of a bite the Cup took out of its budget at the behest of its Citizens Advisory Committee. That total: $1.64 million.

In fact, scouring the books of any number of city departments will likely produce a trove of unreimbursed costs — but no one has asked them to. Yet.

While the Cup has sailed off, there's still buried treasure to be found in San Francisco.

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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