SAN DIEGO (CBS SF) — America’s Cup officials have reduced the prospective venues for the next regatta from four to three, and it appears San Francisco has been eliminated.
Russell Coutts, the CEO of two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA, told The Associated Press Monday night that one venue has been eliminated.
It’s been known for months that San Francisco has not offered terms as attractive as those offered by San Diego, Bermuda and Chicago to host the 2017 regatta.
Despite last year’s America Cup being pitched as a boon to San Francisco, the income generated was less then stellar and the city, this time, did not offer free rent on the piers or no charge for police and fire services.
Some Bay Area civic and sailing leaders hope that San Francisco would still be considered if the other bids fall through.
A spokesperson from Mayor Ed Lee’s office told KCBS on Tuesday morning that the City has not been notified whether it is in or out as a prospective venue.
Coutts said that the San Francisco Bay probably has the best sailing conditions, but that commercial considerations are important for the next America’s Cup.
San Diego is believed to be in a strong position, with its bid receiving broad political support ranging from new Mayor Kevin Faulconer to the port. If selected, racing would be on the bay rather than miles offshore on the Pacific Ocean when San Diego hosted the America’s Cup in 1988, 1992 and 1995.
Bob Nelson, the chairman of the board of commissioners at the Unified Port of San Diego, confirmed that his city’s bid has advanced.
“This evening the Port of San Diego received written word from the America’s Cup Event Authority that the field has been narrowed to three and that San Diego is among those three,” Nelson told The AP.
“We’re very excited to hear this. There’s a lot of hard work ahead to try to secure this race in a way that benefits the people of our region and also advances the interest of the sport.”
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