SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Around a half of a million people could crowd onto the San Francisco and Marin shores to watch the America’s Cup yacht race in the summer of 2013.

That’s according to the newly released draft environmental impact report on the event which outlines in detail San Francisco’s plan to turn a set of old piers, public open space, and parks into a home for the large sporting event.

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KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:

The city expects crowds at Crissy Field, the Marina Green, and Fisherman’s Wharf, among other areas. To ease environmental concerns, fences will be installed to keep spectators out of sensitive areas.

”They’re expecting stadium-sized crowds all up and down the waterfront, and as you can imagine, they’re already anticipating problems with getting those people in and out,” said KCBS and Chronicle insider Phil Matier.

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The city also estimates that the America’s Cup will generate tons of trash and a flood of visitors who could clog highways, BART, and other public transit. To ease transportation pressure, BART trains and Muni trolleys and buses will run more frequently.

Matier said that naysayers may not believe that such crowds will materialize, but that’s likely niave.

”What they’re basically going to do is take a sailing event that’s been held out in the ocean, and put it in an arena,” said Matier. “And that arena is going to be the San Francisco Bay, and these are going to be the seats in the bleachers.”

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