SF taxpayers may be stuck with portion of America’s Cup bill 

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  • Getty Images file photo
  • Getty Images file photo

America’s Cup organizers still have yet to raise the $10 million they need to have in hand by the year’s end to pay budgeted planning activities for the regatta, which is set to come to San Francisco in 2013. They will also have to raise an additional $20 million over the next two years to offset The City’s $32 million share in the race’s total $300 million cost.

If San Francisco’s portion of the cost can’t be raised through donations or big commodities like advertising and broadcast rights, taxpayers will potentially be on the hook to pick up part of the bill for the race, which was touted as coming with no cost to The City when plans were inked in December.

While only about $2 million has been raised so far, officials have said more donations would flow in once the America’s Cup Organizing Committee received its tax exempt status, which it obtained last week. Mike Martin, the America’s Cup project director for the Mayor’s Office, said organizers are “well on track” to raise $10 million by the end of the environmental review process later this fall.

The matter came up Monday at a Board of Supervisors committee, where Supervisor John Avalos wanted to hear more about plans to direct the race’s job opportunities to local union workers in conjunction with San Francisco’s local-hiring ordinance.

Avalos and Supervisor David Campos have called America’s Cup officials to committee hearings in recent months to monitor the progress of fundraising and planning for the international yacht race, which is expected to bring in $1.4 billion in economic benefits to San Francisco and the Bay Area, according to the Mayor’s Office.

“This is a unique opportunity to create a jobs plan that revitalizes our waterfront and puts our local communities and union members back to work,” Avalos said.


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