A helipad will take up temporary residence in the Bayview, a pedestrian bridge will be built over The Embarcadero and The City will be on the hook for millions of dollars of work if the America’s Cup sailing race is held in San Francisco.
These are a few of the fine details outlined in the proposal the Board of Supervisors must approve sometime in October if The City hopes to host the yachting race, a sporting event that proponents claim will bring more than $1 billion in business to the region.
The City has been negotiating with billionaire Larry Ellison’s yachting team, BMW Oracle Racing, ever since the team won the Cup in February in hopes that it will choose the San Francisco Bay as the site of the next race. Cities in Spain and Italy also want to host the race.
In order to help finance some of the work The City and team must do on the waterfront, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, revealed new legislation Thursday that would divert new tax dollars along the waterfront to improving the area’s infrastructure.
If San Francisco is chosen as the host city, not only would the southern and central waterfront change, but the effects would spread through The City at large.
The Embarcadero would be closed south of the Bay Bridge for all of the races, which would require diverting traffic off Interstate 280. A temporary pedestrian bridge would be built over the Embarcadero in the vicinity of Piers 30-32, just south of the Bay Bridge.
Part of Pier 80 would be used as a helipad, for use at the pre-regattas that would begin in 2011 and continue through the final event in 2013.
San Francisco would also be required to complete its long-planned and much delayed Brannan Street Wharf project, which is anticipated to cost about $25 million. The Port of San Francisco will pay for about $17 million of that project. The City must also pay for any necessary dredging of the Bay and for removing the large, historic sheds on Pier 50.
The City would also be responsible for policing the event, which it must also promote: Under the proposal, San Francisco would lend as much advertising space as possible on buses, in subway station platforms, at Moscone Center, Union Square, Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco International Airport and elsewhere. This advertising campaign is already expected to cost The City $892,000, and more costs associated with the advertisements have yet to be determined.
Ten of San Francisco’s 11 district supervisors are in favor of bringing the America’s Cup yacht race to The City.
The one who isn’t? Chris Daly, the termed-out supervisor who represents the district where most of the America’s Cup action would take place.
Daly said Thursday evening that “mega-events” like the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the America’s Cup rarely do as much for a city’s economy as promised beforehand, and even more rarely help a city’s working class.
“I’ve said before that there are powerful people in this city who think this city should be a millionaire’s playground, but I should update that to a billionaire’s playground,” he said.
Founding members of the America’s Cup Organizing Committee were announced Thursday. Here are some members of the organization’s Working Committee: