I am going to go out on a limb and speak for a lot of people I don’t know. Why? Because it’s the internet and technology
gives me the ability to do it. Besides, if one is taking one’s cues from Chris Daly of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors,
it’s the thing to do these days.
You, like Mr. Daly, may think that the America’s Cup is “… hoity-toity and really just for the elite …” and while that’s a point
that could be (and has been) argued ad nauseam, let’s set that aside for a moment. You may also think that Larry Ellison“… just wants to be an a**hole …” (the quotes are from Supervisor Daly) but let’s pretend that Ellison is a prince and that
the America’s Cup is aimed at the same demographic as a monster truck rally.
It’s worth noting that we’ve been in a bit of an economic slump lately. I mention this only because Mr. Daly seems to have
not gotten the memo and so he doesn’t seem to think that the citizens of San Francisco could use the 8000 labor years of
work that would come with redeveloping the decrepit city waterfront. That’s 8000 people working for a year each. Now
some of those jobs may be “hoity-toity”, but I’m pretty sure that the bulk of those jobs are going to be the kind of jobs that
would mess up Mr. Daly’s manicure.
They’re also the kind of jobs that will go to people who have been hurting for the past
couple of years. The kind of people who have pent up needs for stuff like a new truck, new clothes, new washer dryer, what
have you that they’ve been putting off purchasing because there’s not a lot of work. When those people start spending the
City of San Francisco is liable to walk away with 9.5% (SF sales tax) of everything they spend.
There would also be a lot of people moving in to be on and support the sailing teams.
Those people will eat, shop, and live
(read: generate tax revenue) in SF for several years, more if BMWO manages to retain the Cup. Not to mention the “Elite” coming to visit SF to watch the event who would be staying in SF hotels, and eating in SF restaurants, and shopping in SF
stores with the city getting it’s 9.5% surcharge of each and every transaction.
Then there are the relatively intangible items like the ability to show off the city to a vast international market. The budget
of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau is $14 million per year. Now I’m not a media buyer, but I would venture
a guess that they couldn’t buy the kind of exposure that the Cup will bring with a paltry $14 million.
The other intangible is
the civic pride. You can argue that the team was full of foreigners, but that’s how we get shit done in this country. We take
the best and the brightest from around the world and give them the tools they need to do great things. It’s how we built the
railroads, and skyscrapers and all the other things in this country and USA 17 served up a cold plate of smack down to Mr.
Bertarelli. San Francisco should be proud of what BMWO and BBYC accomplished and the city should be allowed to bask in
the glow of the victor’s rewards. The citizens of San Francisco also deserve to have a waterfront they can be proud of as
opposed to the current waterfront which really can only be described as blight. Having the AC in SF will remedy that
situation and turn the crumbling piers into usable space.
According to reports (and Mr. Daly’s rather capacious oral cavity), the sticking point seems to be long term development
rights for Pier 50. Having taken a look at Pier 50 on Google Earth, it doesn’t look like it’s generating a lot of big time
revenue for the city. Seems to me that if someone wants to develop an underused piece of property, it’s going to generate
more revenue for the city and create more jobs and you’re not going to make a lot of points with us “poor people” by
keeping us from honestly getting a piece of the rich guy’s money.
Mr. Daly also seems concerned about the city having to pony up it’s share for the event. This has been estimated in the
neighborhood of $128 million. I wonder if Mr. Daly would turn down a $200,000 per year job because it required him to
buy a $25,000 car to get to and from work? The point being that if the city wants all of the jobs and taxes associated with
the event, it’s going to have to make an initial investment.
As one of the people who stands a much better chance of getting back into the workforce after 2 years of odd jobs and
unemployment, I’d like to respectfully suggest to Mr. Daly that he either grow up (elected officials should not be using the
word asshole in interviews with the press no mater how much of an asshole the other person is being) and help lead the
city forward, or get out of the way and let people who are actually trying to build something to get on with it.
Ed Note – we received this from the Mayor’s office today : Just a quick update to let you know that the Board of Supervisor’s Budget and Finance Committee concluded it’s hearing today on the City’s America’s Cup Host City Agreement. Supervisors Mirkarimi and Avalos unanimously approved the Agreement. It will be considered by the full Board tomorrow.
In the event you saw the press over the weekend, you should be aware that the City team responded to Mr. Barclay’s letter, with the attached. We are incredibly proud of our compelling offer. The public process has refined the deal but in a way that has brought greater consensus and support for it – which is critical for projects in San Francisco of this magnitude and importance.
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