Yacht race, opportunity sailing in 

San Francisco will be the seventh city in the world to host the America’s Cup sailing competition since the first race around the Isle of Wright in 1852. Last week, the Board of Supervisors gave its unanimous approval for our great city to host the 34th America’s Cup in 2013 and preliminary races in 2012.

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport and will be the world’s only major international sporting event in 2013.

The races begin next month along our northern waterfront with the America’s Cup World Series in August and October. In 2013, we will see almost three months of racing, starting on the Fourth of July with the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series, followed by the best-of-nine America’s Cup series beginning Sept. 2.

I expect that these exciting and unique races in San Francisco will draw hundreds of thousands of spectators from around the globe. Combined with the associated capital improvements to our waterfront, the America’s Cup will create more than 8,000 new jobs and $1 billion in economic impacts spread across The City.

The sailing races themselves will be an extraordinary spectacle — boats that are the height of a 13-story building racing at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour between Alcatraz, the Golden Gate and Bay bridges. For the first time in its history, the America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup races are being designed to be viewed from land.

Residents and visitors will have a changed and far more open waterfront to experience, including significant projects that will last long after the races are concluded, such as the new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal and a 2½-acre open space at Piers 27-29.

The City’s workers and businesses will have an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from the races and development. With our partners at the America’s Cup Event Authority, we have made more than 100 presentations to business, community, arts and cultural organizations across The City to alert them to the business opportunities and to help develop a strategy to bring the economic benefits to neighborhoods across The City.

Finally, we are developing a plan to promote our neighborhoods — and the arts, culture, entertainment venues, shops and restaurants that populate them — to America’s Cup visitors. We are confident that with our partners at the San Francisco Travel Association as well as the America’s Cup Event Authority, San Francisco will shine as the host of an exciting global sporting event that will provide for key legacy projects along our waterfront as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits for The City.

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Ed Lee

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