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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cost-Saving America's Cup Proposal Not Shipshape Yet

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Don't fire up the boats yet...
  • Don't fire up the boats yet...

The new-and-improved groundwork for hosting the America's Cup in San Francisco appears to take much less of a bite of city finances than the fabulously expensive, nonbinding "term sheet" the city approved in October.

Fred Brousseau, a principal at the city's Budget Analyst's office, said it appeared the alternative deal yesterday approved by the Port Commission would save San Francisco some dinero. But don't cut anchor and sail off into the sunset yet. He noted that the Budget Analyst hasn't yet crunched the numbers in the proposal to see if they're legit. And, most importantly, for the deal to become a reality, both the city -- and yachting billionaire Larry Ellison's "Event Authority" -- would have to alter the proposal currently floating through the city's legislative process.

A Budget Analyst's report on the America's Cup bid authored by Brousseau is due out tomorrow and the city's Budget and Finance Commission will (ostensibly) read it prior to a Dec. 8 hearing.

Brousseau said, however, the numbers in his pending report won't look much like those in the Port proposals. That's because the Budget Analyst will crunch the numbers based on the "final offer" as it now stands -- rather than, say, doing the numbers for a hypothetical proposal that one or both of the two parties in negotiation may reject.

The Budget Analyst's task isn't easy -- Brousseau likened it to aiming at a "moving target," as the "final offer" may be amended by Dec. 8 or even earlier.

The cost-saving Port proposal called for building up different venues than those currently on the table and required Ellison's "Event Authority" to either lease or buy property currently slated to be given away. Once more, however, those tweaks -- which are not minor -- cannot be imposed upon Ellison's group.

"It's definitely not a surefire thing," says Brousseau. "It'll definitely be proposed to the Board of Supervisors. But whether or not the other side is open to it, I don't know."

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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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