San Francisco Supervisor Questions Cost of America’s Cup

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- A San Francisco Supervisor has called for an audit of how much money it will cost the City to host the America’s Cup race in 2013.

San Francisco’s bid was quietly punched up at the last minute to secure its position as host city and now District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi wants the Board’s budget analyst to figure the cost for taxpayers.

All previous financial reports on the cost of the race were done at the last minute by then Mayor Gavin Newsom. Supervisor Mirkarimi said although the Mayor had the executive power to make changes in the bid approved by the board, the public has a right to know what those changes are. Hence his request for another analysis and a hearing on what it finds.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“I doubt that there’s anything untoward about all that that, but I think in order to keep consistent with public scrutiny and interest, we are obligated to have periodic hearings on this and that’s why I called for it,” said Mirkarimi.

The America’s Cup will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop real estate on port land along the Embarcadero where the race will occur and in return, the port would grant rent credits for the land, but details remain hazy.

“I think it’s important that we continue to monitor, in case that there is any significant hiccup,” Mirkarimi added.

The budget analyst’s most recent report back in December said the city could be out of pocket by $12 million, but the America’s Cup would also pump well over a billion dollars into the city’s economy.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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