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April 21, 2014

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San Francis­cans might have to foot America’s Cup bill

San Francisco will play host to the America's Cup this year with groups like Oracle Team USA competing to win. (Mark Doliner/Flickr)
San Francisco will play host to the America's Cup this year with groups like Oracle Team USA competing to win. (Mark Doliner/Flickr)
Source   SFGate

America’s Cup — a 55-day elite sailing competition associated with 72-foot catamarans and names like Larry Ellison — is synonymous with big money.

So it should come as no surprise that funding to cover the event has fallen short and San Francisco taxpayers might have to pick up the slack, according to the Chronicle.

The estimated cost for the 34th America’s Cup, to be held in San Francisco Sept. 7-22, tops out at a whopping $34 million. This  will cover police, cleanup, transportation and other expenses.

However, only $14 million has been raised so far. This comes from the efforts of the Recreation and Park Commission, headed by President Mark Buell, who has raised $9 million from local donors, plus a $5 million loan from race organizers, according to the Chronicle.

America’s Cup is a world-renowned event, and as such there was originally supposed to be as many as 12 international teams competing. The race has shrunk to four teams: Oracle Racing of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge.

Fewer participants means lower costs, but also decreased interest in corporate sponsorship, which city officials reportedly think could bring in a cool $300 million.

Mayor Ed Lee has now taken up arms in the fundraising fight, along with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Board of Supervisors president David Chiu.

Consensus seems to be that no matter what, the money and clout that will come with the race makes footing the bill worth it.

Buell told the Chronicle:

“Between the money that will come in from tourists and the crowds and the sales taxes it will generate, I still think that, no matter what, it will come out a boon for the city.”

Source   SFGate
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