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KCBS In Depth: America’s Cup In San Francisco

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Yachts racing in the America's Cup. (AP file photo)

Yachts racing in the America’s Cup. (AP file photo)

KCBS In Depth
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The America’s Cup may still be a little more than two years away from hitting the San Francisco Bay, but preparations and excitement continue to grow for sailing’s premiere event.

Craig Thompson, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, said the choice of San Francisco to host the event will leave a spectacular and indelible mark on sailing fans and novices alike.

“All around the Bay, this becomes a natural amphitheater for the sport,” Thompson said. “It’s quite an unusual situation and the America’s Cup has never had this type of an opportunity before where people all around the Bay can watch it live while it’s happening.”

Thompson said it will also be a great site because fans will be able to watch it on land and on sea if they so please.

“In the past America’s Cups, you really had to be a sailing fan to get out on a boat, out on the course or get up in the early morning to watch it on television,” he said. “Here, this is going to be an event and we’re going to be here for the whole summer.”

KCBS Interviews Craig Thompson, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority:

Working together with the city of San Francisco, preparations are already underway at piers and along the Embarcadero to transform the area into “America’s Cup Central.”

“We’re trying to disturb this as little as possible. It’s about adding value to the experience in San Francisco,” Thompson said. “All of the facilities that we’re putting in are going to be temporary. They will all be dismantled at the end of 2013.”

The race is expected to be one of the fastest in the long history of the event due to new designs and the use of catamarans. Along with technology for the boats, new technology for TV and online coverage will also be unveiled, including multiple onboard cameras.

Overall, Thompson said the event is a win-win for San Francisco and the America’s Cup.

“We’re raising money to stage the event. The revenue that we’re generating is to cover the cost of building venues, setting up hospitality centers, television production, that money will go to cover those costs. If we do have any excess revenues, it will be redistributed to the teams,” he said. “The city of San Francisco has acquired this event and an independent study on the economic impact has shown that the America’s Cup is going to put $1.4 billion into the local economy over the next two and a half years and include the creation of over nine thousand jobs.”

The official race begins in September of 2013 with preliminary events hosted during the summer.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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