Organizers of the 34th America’s Cup have long been touting the “natural amphitheater” of San Francisco as one of the regatta’s best venues ever, and there are plenty of waterfront and hilltop locations from which to view the race free of charge.
While the action has traditionally played out on the open ocean and was seen almost exclusively from television, The City’s terrain will allow large crowds to get a look at the races, which organizers say will include dramatic crashes a la NASCAR.
It’s all part of an attempt to make the sport less exclusive and more appealing to a mainstream audience.
The race course — all along the northern waterfront — will begin in the Bay, directly north of Crissy Field’s eastern half and spread out to the area in front of Pier 27 in The City’s northeast corner.
Successful viewing strategies will probably resemble those that San Franciscans have long used to watch the July 4 fireworks or the annual appearance of the Blue Angels during Fleet Week. Find a friend with a roof or balcony in The City’s northwest corner with an unobstructed view of the course.
In the absence of such a friend, other good viewing spots will include Crissy Field; Marina Green, just west of Fort Mason; Aquatic Park, at the northernmost point of Hyde Street; various public piers along the waterfront; and the America’s Cup Village at Pier 27. For a wider view of the action, hilltop spots include Pioneer Park, surrounding Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill, and Alta Plaza Park in Pacific Heights, at Pierce and Jackson streets.
Although an official advisory is pending as of press time, impacted streets and augmented Muni routes could include: