With America’s Cup racing set to kick off in three months, a key piece of The City’s waterfront is about to undergo a major facelift.
The summer of racing begins July 4 when the first boats take to the water for the Louis Vuitton Cup, and in the next couple of weeks organizers will begin transforming Piers 27-29 into America’s Cup Park, the hub of the world’s biggest sailing event.
“It will be a focal point for the 2013 America’s Cup,” CEO Stephen Barclay said. “It is part of the re-energized city waterfront.”
Within two weeks, organizers are expected to start building America’s Cup Pavilion, a half-bowl stadium along The Embarcadero that will seat 9,000 spectators for live-action viewing on two 12-by-16-foot jumbo screens. The pavilion, a temporary structure, also will hold a series of nighttime concerts beginning with the Imagine Dragons on May 31.
Rosie Spaulding, the event’s head of venues, said the centerpiece of America’s Cup Park will be completed in the middle of May and disassembled by Halloween.
But most of the heavy lifting is over with the construction of a new two-story, 84,000-square-foot cruise ship terminal that sits along the water and looks out at the Bay Bridge. Over the next couple of months, organizers said they will turn the building’s top level into luxury suites while the bottom half is converted into media headquarters, a cafe and a sports bar.
“It won’t take a lot of time,” Spaulding said. “We’re just putting in temporary walling, carpeting and a lot of furnishing.”
After racing concludes Sept. 21, the Port of San Francisco, which owns and constructed the new building, will transform it into a cruise ship terminal.
America’s Cup Park will sit at the race’s finish line and give spectators who want to follow every twist and turn closely a chance to watch the competition on the jumbo screen with live commentary over the loud speakers.
But fans who want to be closer to the action can go down to America’s Cup Village at Marina Green and sit in the bleachers that will be set up right along the racecourse.
America’s Cup Park also will give fans a rare opportunity to interact with the competitors as they come on and off the water and participate in daily Q&A events with the public.
“This is the place where you can really get up close and meet the athletes,” Spaulding said.