Report Finds America’s Cup Failed To Live Up To Expectations For SF Economy

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A new report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) indicates that the City of San Francisco lost money hosting the America’s Cup.

The figures show the races over three months starting in July generated at least $364 million in economic impact for the San Francisco Bay Area. That figure rises to $550 million if the construction of a new cruise ship terminal is factored in.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the numbers Monday and found that the economic impact is far below the $900 million projected just a few months before the races were set to begin, and the $1.4 billion originally estimated in 2010.

The newspaper also said the races have cost city taxpayers more than $5 million.

Despite Some Small Business Benefits, Report Suggests America’s Cup Cost Taxpayers Millions

Michael Martin, the city’s point man for the America’s Cup preparations said he thinks the event was a financial success.

“I think this report helps us make that argument in the affirmative that— yes it was,” he said.

The independently commissioned report shows 3,800 jobs were created and that the city spent about $20 million hosting the race, but is also short $4 to 5 million because private fundraising failed to meet its goal.

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos predicted that would happen.

“They’re cheer-leading for the next America’s Cup. I’m not necessarily opposed, I just think that we should consider how we subsidize events like that,” Avalos said.

The America’s Cup Park and America’s Cup Village venues along the waterfront attracted nearly one-million visitors and the regatta still pumped millions of tax dollars into city coffers.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee touted the waterfront improvements and international visitor spending generated from the event as a boost to the regional economy.

Sean Randolph, BACEI president, agreed on some of the local benefits.

“The activity benefited hundreds of small businesses and other employers in San Francisco and the Bay Area and produced tax revenue that supports a wide range of important city services,” said Randolph.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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