San Francisco's America's Cup financing deal approved by state 

click to enlarge California Gov. Jerry Brown (seated) signs AB 664, a bill to finance improvements the Port of San Francisco needs to host the 2013 America’s Cup yacht race, at a news conference in San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. From left to right (standing), California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Assembly speaker John Perez and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown watch the signing. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) - CALIFORNIA GOV. JERRY BROWN (SEATED) SIGNS AB 664, A BILL TO FINANCE IMPROVEMENTS THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO NEEDS TO HOST THE 2013 AMERICA’S CUP YACHT RACE, AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO, FRIDAY, SEPT. 23, 2011. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (ST
  • California Gov. Jerry Brown (seated) signs AB 664, a bill to finance improvements the Port of San Francisco needs to host the 2013 America’s Cup yacht race, at a news conference in San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. From left to right (st
  • California Gov. Jerry Brown (seated) signs AB 664, a bill to finance improvements the Port of San Francisco needs to host the 2013 America’s Cup yacht race, at a news conference in San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. From left to right (standing), California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Assembly speaker John Perez and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown watch the signing. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

San Francisco can create a special financing district and issue bonds to pay for the America's Cup race after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.

The bill, AB 664, will will allow the City and County of San Francisco to create a special waterfront infrastructure financing district and issue bonds without seeking approval from voters. The funds will be used in part to build a new cruise ship terminal at Pier 27, which will host cruise ships that will provide additional lodging for race attendees.

Speaking at Pier 27, which will serve as the starting and ending points for the international yacht race, Brown said the bill would cut red tape and streamline the funding and development process.

"This bill gives San Francisco the flexibility it needs to finance important waterfront improvements," Brown said. "The Port of San Francisco is a beautiful urban coastline, but its infrastructure needs a lot of work."

The bill's signing was attended by current San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and two former San Francisco mayors, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Willie Brown, as well as by Speaker of the Assembly John Perez.

The America's Cup is expected to draw more than 450,000 visitors, create more than 8,000 jobs and generate $1.2 billion in economic activity, according to proponents. Newsom, who helped push through the agreement for
The City to host the event in his final days as mayor, said analysis from past America's Cup events showed the projected benefits were, if anything, understated. 

"We're in a state with close to 2.2 million people unemployed," said Newsom. "We've got to get people back to
work."

"This international event will create hundreds of new jobs and generate millions of dollars in economic activity for the entire Bay Area and the state of California," Ammiano said. "This is a unique opportunity to showcase all that San Francisco offers to the world."

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