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Phil Matier: SF’s Chances Of Hosting America’s Cup Sailing Away?

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San Francisco Bay (Getty Images)

San Francisco Bay (Getty Images)

Phil-Matier_BIO-HEAD Phil Matier
Whether it's politics, personalities or analysis Phil Matier is one ...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Could San Francisco’s chance to host the next America’s Cup be sailing away? That’s what one of the race organizers recently said, indicating that they were looking at other strong venues like Hawaii and San Diego.

For San Francisco, the race wasn’t as big as it was supposed to be. Whether or not it was a success is debatable. It did wind up costing the city $5 million, but it had been reported much of that was recouped by tourists who came into the city to watch.

Now it’s time to start negotiating to keep the race in the City and as we know, the winner of the race gets to decide where it’s held the next time. Of course the winner was Larry Ellison, a man who knows his own mind and often tries to dictate that mindset to others.

San Francisco is in a political season, the race got a lot of bad press last time and it’s not the same city as it was when this idea was originally proposed. When the race was brought around the first time, we had just lost the 49ers to Santa Clara and we hadn’t started talking about the Golden State Warriors coming over here yet. Plus we were suffering economically because the recession was still on.

Obviously since then, the city has sprung back and Ellison cannot be given the same deal that he had been given before. In turn, the America’s Cup organizers have begun talking to San Diego and Hawaii as prospective race locations.

It will be interesting to see if the organizers are able to take a step away from what was a high-tech, televised event, where all this money was poured into to the amphitheater seating and pavilion on the waterfront.

The bottom line is anything short of San Francisco will be a step back from the crowds they can draw. Last time the city was in the mind frame that they’d do anything for the race, but now perhaps they can play a little hard to get.

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