the big push
San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom seems to have pushed the ‘turbo boost’ button today, unveiling the serious horsepower on a new blue-chip AC Organizing Committee as well as a term sheet that outlines the city’s commitments – including a surprise $270 million cash commitment in store for GGYC and the event organizers if they bring the AC to the bay.
The pile of dough may finally give Coutts and Ellison the excuse they need to pull the trigger for a US-hosted event that will likely be the most significant thing to happen to sailing in this country in decades. The money might not be the equal of what either Rome or Valencia have to offer, but neither the Italian venue under discussion nor Valencia can even pretend to offer the kind of sailing that the Coutts/Ellison vision absolutely needs to achieve its stated goals. The biggest problem in the US bid may come not from the usual glacial pace of US bureacracy, but instead (and ironically, given the course of events that led to AC 33) from legal and enviromental challenges to plans that haven’t yet been put in place. Challenges that – unlike in Europe – can’t just be swept under the rug once filed. In SF’s favor, we know that the venue is damned near perfect (except for that pesky fog), the city is extremely motivated, and the head honcho – Ellison – wants it there. The only question left to answer is whether GGYC, BMW/Oracle and the nascent ACRM can count on things going as swimmingly as San Francisco thinks it can.
This America’s Cup Anarchy thread outlines all of it, and is no doubt the best place to keep posted on SF AC developments. For Facebook users, be sure to ‘like’ our own Dixie’s "Bring the Cup to SF Page" to show your support for the move, especially if you are from places besides NorCal.