Opposition to the San Francisco AC plan is starting to pop up, not too big a surprise with the very sweet honeypot the City offered in its Term Sheet for Ellison to bring the Cup to the West Coast. On one hand, the haters have it partially right; Ellison and whomever else has shares in the Event Authority are going to get a massive windfall from public property (largely in long-term leases and development rights of the piers) in exchange for a relatively light commitment to build a media center, a for-profit megayacht basin, and to replace and repair the pilings on the existing piers. On the other hand, it’s work that has been begging to be done for decades, and despite being perhaps some of the most prime retail property anywhere on Earth, it still lays there unused and unrehabbed. We still think it is a ‘go’, and that Ellison is just squeezing the City for whatever he can get out of them, but should surprise precisely no one; he’s looked across the table at some of the meanest motherf**ckers in business and law, and he seems to have done well enough…
Patriotism, goose bumps, hugs, champagne breakfast, and non-stop smiles filled my morning on February 14th when a group of us watched USA 17 cross the finish line and win the America’s Cup. Right now, a big group of locals is trying to keep it here, but it seems our quiver is filled only with pitches – come to City Hall on Monday! write letters to our city supervisors! join the Facebook page! And I don’t think that’s enough at all.
This morning (Wednesday), the America’s Cup was back on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, but I still don’t think that’s enough. We’re all been beating the drum – "Bring the America’s Cup to San Francisco!" – but we are not beating it loud enough.
We, those of us of who want to see it raced in the winning country’s water, we need to beat louder, pound the pavement harder, and massively up the game. The concept has been proven: The AC boats can race here – it’s deep enough for a 4.4 meter draft, there are piers that can be developed, there is money waiting in the wings, there are cool designs for the venues, the various competing political factions are standing behind it. SF has a jillion techies who would jump at the chance to be a part of raising the bar of ‘cutting edge’ media coverage.
Why isn’t the whole country behind it? Why isn’t Obama or Clinton or old man Bush who overlooks an ocean every day pitching for this event? Why isn’t Steve Forbes or Bloomberg or Nike jumping in to offer support? We are a massive country, we are not just some small boot shaped country who can easily garner the political puff chests to get behind it, we are America. Yet – Divided. If you sail in Newport, Lake Michigan, San Diego, Biscayne Bay, Long Island Sound, Galveston, Charleston, or anywhere else in the US, you know how you felt when we won…So keep hold of that feeling for the sport you love – band together, leverage your own networks – your six degrees of people who might be able to help make the AC happen. In the United States. Imagine if it weren’t here. -Dixie