San Francisco planning for a wave of visitors with America's Cup coming to town 

San Francisco is expecting 200,000 visitors a day for the 34th America’s Cup, which could present a logistical nightmare when it comes to transporting all those yacht racing fans. Add in a Giants game at AT&T Park and those numbers could swell even more.

A preliminary “people plan” released by city officials Thursday includes several proposals of how to manage the wave of people expected to watch the regatta.

“The big challenge is going to be, if we’re successful and this works, how are you going to move people around smartly?” Mayor Ed Lee said Thursday.

Neighborhood groups that expressed concern over transportation issues saw the plan as a good start, but mentioned that there should be more streetcars along the F-Market and Wharves and that two bus routes should be restored, according to Bill Sauro, president of the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association.

“We’re generally supportive of the way they’re doing this,” Sauro said. “Although we think they badly need more trains on that line, not just the historic street cars. As it is now, they’re full by the time you get to the Ferry Building.”

The transportation plan is the first step in getting a full environmental impact report passed. Comments will be accepted for the next two months and the plan must to be approved by Sept. 30.


By the numbers

  • 200,000 Estimated daily spectators along waterfront
  • 14 Teams entered in race as of March 31
  • 159 Years since first America’s Cup
  • 6 Cities that have hosted the race
  • July-Sept. 2012  America’s Cup World Series regattas and Luis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series
  • July-Sept. 2013  America’s Cup final



Managing vehicle traffic will be a major challenge. These are some options under consideration.

  • Closing down one lane of Van Ness Avenue except to buses 
  • Shutting down northbound side of Embarcadero to vehicles
  • Limiting traffic in neighborhoods along the waterfront to residents only
  • Parking will be eliminated around the waterfront and satellite parking options will be offered at Lot A south of AT&T Park, the Presidio Main Post, and city garages



City officials plan to limit traffic nightmares by encouraging visitors to use methods of transportation besides cars.

  • Extending F-Market and Wharves cars to run the length of Embarcadero to the Marina
  • Increasing streetcar service and service on the 30-Stockton, 30X-Marina Express and 47-Van Ness
  • Special signals and more bike lanes along the “Embikeadero”



The City hopes to come away from the event with long-term capital improvements.

  • Jefferson Street sidewalk upgrades along Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Improvements to Bay Trail as part of Marina Yacht Harbor rebuild
  • Improvements along the Embarcadero promenade

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Brent Begin

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