Phil Matier: Ellison Put A Lot On The Line For America’s Cup
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Crowds thronged to the waterfront on Wednesday to watch the winner-take-all America’s Cup race won by Oracle Team USA. The event drew so many spectators that officials had to close off Pier 27 because it was too crowded.
Everybody likes a good finish, which is why it took the crowds so long to materialize. The race really heated up in the last week or so, with a make it or break it day right at the end. People just didn’t go back to work after lunch, they headed to the pier. And it was a great day despite the terrible parking and ridiculous traffic.
Police seemed to handle themselves and there weren’t any reports of problems that I’m aware of. It was a bit hard to give perspective on what 40,000 people on the pier looks like, but it really was a spectacle. It definitely made for great television.
The event wasn’t the $1.8 billion enterprise originally proposed, but in the end it didn’t cost as much either. Besides you had a comeback story with a photo finish that grabbed the attention of San Francisco in the end.
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Larry Ellison and Oracle, but they’re the ones who put a lot on the line. Ellison brought it to the city and it was even timed to line up with his annual Oracle World Conference. It could have been a really embarrassing loss for him, but things worked out.
Now fans can look forward to some concerts at the America’s Cup Pavilion and hope that the organizers bring the race back to the Bay in three years.
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