"Larry Ellison on the Joystick" Photo Credit: Sail World
So yes, it's on. San Francisco was officially anointed the venue for the 34th America's Cup. Not that Team Ellison had much choice. Rhode Island gracefully exited last week, not prepared to complete an offer in the short time frame they had to work out a bid, perhaps unable to shake off the nagging sense they were being used. Possibly someone noticed that Valencia, the site of the last race and a spectacular purpose-built racing facility, had dropped out altogether. How badly did the Spanish, with their troubled economy and high unemployment, have to be treated to head for the exit? As for the Italian proposal, we've always suspected there never was one. So kudos to the Mayor, the Supervisors and the bean-counters, realizing earlier this year that San Francisco was probably bidding against itself, changed the terms and moved the venue a few piers north.
Meanwhile, Team Ellison has it's own issues to deal with. Craig Thompson, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority is cautiously optimistic about the race- they have to find a new sponsor after being dropped by BMW, there's the environmental approvals from the state, TV deals to work out. It's his job to worry. Entry fees have already been lowered by two-thirds, and this is an expensive race to be in. The facility has to be designed- is SOM in or out? Locally, there are NIMBY's who will complain about their views being compromised. Oakland will probably complain about shipping from China being interrupted. And Rhode Island, clearly a girl who never learns, will continue to work on their proposal in case San Francisco somehow fails to fulfill its marriage vows. Stay tuned. The real fun's about to begin, and we'll be covering it all here at Curbed SF.
· RI loses out to SF in race for 2013 America's Cup [AP via SFGate]
· America's Cup: Work Begins on Creating a World-class Event Venue [Sail World]
· 34th America's Cup Race Coverage [Curbed SF Archives]