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Monday, February 10, 2014

America's Cup Cost City $11.5M, Report Claims

Posted By on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

click to enlarge rsz_seamonsterscover.jpg

With America's Cup organizers threatening to take their yacht and go home, a new report on Monday gives cover to the "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out" contingent. 

A long-gestating tabulation from the city's Budget and Legislative Analyst claims San Francisco took an $11.5 million bath in hosting the 34th America's Cup last year. This includes $6 million in expenditures from the city's General Fund and $5.5 million in Port of San Francisco losses. 

"As a result of these net costs to the city of $11.5 million, any agreement between the City and [America's Cup organizers] to host a future America's Cup should require payment to the City for use of City property and for City services," concludes the report. 

The last agreement didn't include such provisions. And it cost us. 

Here's the breakdown:  

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So, here's how that shakes down: The city incurred $20.5 million in costs, and sucked in $5.8 million in tax revenues (an aside: There's no way to know if those tax revenues are any higher because of the America's Cup). And the America's Cup Organizing Committee -- which merely had to "endeavor" to meet the city's costs -- chipped in $8.7 million. So, the city's General Fund took a $6 million hit. 

The port, meanwhile, shelled out $5.5 million on dredging, tenant relocation, permitting, marketing, and other Cup-specific costs. But wait -- there's more. The Port spent an additional, non-reimbursed $20.3 million in other America's Cup-related costs -- but these were described as having "long-term value."

Let us hope. 

Finally, the supposed tourist bonanza pitched to San Francisco seems all the more Barnum-like following the Budget Analyst's report. "The impact of America's Cup tourism on hotel occupancy was minimal," concludes the analysis

This, incidentally, was a point SF Weekly made back in November. 

Sadly, when it comes to the America's Cup, it appears the city's expenditures were all sunk costs. 

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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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