SAN FRANCISCO (AP/BCN) — San Francisco has won the bidding to host the America’s Cup in 2013.
The announcement by the America’s Cup Event Authority on Friday comes after intense negotiations with both San Francisco and Newport, R.I., to host the competition for the oldest trophy in international sports.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing Team won the last race in Spain in February on behalf of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club and got to select the host city for the next race.
“It’s official. San Francisco will be the host for the 34th edition of the America’s Cup,” Golden Gate Yacht Club Commodore Marcus Young wrote in a letter Friday to club members.
“After a very detailed and exhaustive negotiation, our venue team and the City of San Francisco have come to terms with a program that should make the 34th edition of the Cup the most spectacular to date,” Young wrote.
Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office confirmed the deal.
The team was also reportedly considering bids from Newport, R.I., and Italy, but in the end, settled on San Francisco. Friday was the team’s deadline for making a choice.
Newsom’s office has projected that bringing the race to San Francisco could inject more than $1 billion into the local and regional economies, and add thousands of jobs.
“The selection… marks the beginning of an extraordinary new chapter for our city and for the sport of sailing,” Newsom said in a statement.
He added that the city is ready to begin work right away to “deliver on this remarkable opportunity for the city and for the America’s Cup.”
City officials said the San Francisco Bay would provide an unparalleled viewing opportunity for the world-famous regatta.
After months of planning and negotiations, San Francisco approved its bid to the team earlier this month.
Under the terms of San Francisco’s proposal, race venues would be constructed at several piers along the city’s northern waterfront.
Ellison’s group would invest between $55 million and $80 million for repairs at the aging piers in return for long-term development rights there.
Some members of the Board of Supervisors had questioned whether the deal would put the city at financial risk, but ultimately gave it unanimous approval on Dec. 14.
The racing team’s lead negotiator had also expressed misgivings about the financial terms of the proposal earlier this month.
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