SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A state-of-the-art facility at Pier 27 with a berth long enough to accommodate the largest cruise ships now afloat will first serve as the America’s Cup headquarters.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said the cruise ship terminal dedicated Tuesday is perhaps the most visible benefit so far of the city’s partnership with the yacht race.

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“I don’t think it would have been done without this push, that all of us were lucky to really able to receive, from America’s Cup,” Lee said during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Cruise lines are already vying to be among the first bookings at the new pier as the cruise industry shifts from ships based primarily in Europe and the Caribbean to ports on the West Coast, said Monique Moyer, executive director of the Port of San Francisco.

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“The lines are building more ships, and so they’re able to house ships out here on the West Coast permanently,” Moyer said.

The new berth is significantly longer than the current cruise ship terminal at Pier 35, allowing for much bigger ships to dock on the San Francisco waterfront.

The 100,000-square foot building will also be available for conferences, weddings and other special events when no ship is docked there.

The America’s Cup Event Authority will use the Pier 27 facility from March until November, then cruise ships are expected to start docking there in the spring of 2014.

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