SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The return of the America’s Cup to the San Francisco Bay appears to be hitting some choppy waters, with the organizers threatening to pull out and relocate to another city.
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said this is more than just posturing.
“The America’s Cup, in the past, has been wooed by people to go places, and they’ve been promised things. San Francisco has had them already; there’s not now the same appetite as if you were warned,” he said.
That’s an interesting way to put it, but last time around some people would argue that the city has already been felt up and fleeced.
The organizers came in before and had everyone against the ropes saying that they would go to Newport. It was “promise this, give us that” and in the end it turned out to be a good event. But it cost the San Francisco about $5 million, and now everyone is back with a big smile on their face. It’s planning a date when you just got the bill for the last one, which was a little steep.
But Larry Ellison doesn’t feel like he’s received enough respect and there are those that think he has enough money to pay for it himself.
“America cup is not just his activity; it’s an activity for nations of the world and he has a right, in my opinion, to say to any location who would host it, ‘you have to do the following kinds of things,” Brown said.
So Ellison and company have hinted that other locations are interested: but after some research, it turns out that Hawaii and San Diego don’t know anything about it. So are organizers bluffing? Brown said I was talking to the wrong people in those locations—the people who run those cities.
“Some promoter in each of those cities is telling Larry Ellison, ‘Come with me and I will deliver,’” he said.
Despite these negotiations, Brown said he is confident that the next America’s Cup will be in San Francisco.
“It’s the only place you can actually see it,” he said.