Organizers scale back plans
Organizers of sailing’s most prestigious event say they are dramatically scaling back plans to renovate San Francisco’s dilapidated waterfront.
34th America's Cup - The America's Cup in San Francisco - Golden Gate Bridge
Following hours of pointed, dense and passionate discussions, a Board of Supervisors committee voted 2-1 to move the deal to a full board vote on Tuesday as organizers face looming construction deadlines to ready waterfront race facilities before qualifying matches begin in July 2013.
Exhibition races are set for August, progressing toward finals – the Mount Everest of sailing, as Oracle Racing skipper James Spithill described them – in September 2013.
According to an article on SFGate.com, some supervisors continue to have concerns about the final financing deal between the city and race organizers, a regatta group led by billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, that would provide long-term leases and development rights on port-owned waterfront property in exchange for at least $55 million in infrastructure work shoring up dilapidated piers the city can’t afford to fix.
The cornerstone of the deal remains giving the business arm of Ellison’s regatta group, the America’s Cup Event Authority, a 66-year, rent-free lease on Piers 30-32, a crumbling single, conjoined pier south of the Bay Bridge, and title to Seawall Lot 330 across the Embarcadero, in exchange for the group paying $55 million to stabilize the piers.
Mayor Ed Lee made the announcement Monday during a news conference at San Francisco’s Pier 80, where Ellison is building his space-age catamaran to defend the trophy he won in 2010 off the coast of Spain.
Ellison picked the San Francisco Bay as the location of the 34th race for the America’s Cup, scheduled for September 2013. The plan was for Ellison’s race team to spend $55 million on piers 30 and 32 in exchange for rent-free use of them for 66 years and title to a city-owned lot nearby.
Instead, all competitors will be housed at Pier 80, which Ellison has already spent a couple million dollars renovating. But the location is about two miles from the proposed “racing village” that is expected to serve as the event’s hub. Pier 80 will still be open to the public, but organizers concede that it may require a bus ride instead of a walk from the racing village to visit.
San Francisco's Pier 80
Nonetheless, Lee and organizers insisted Monday that none of the 50 or so race days leading up to the final weekend of racing in September 2013 or the planned course around Alcatraz island in front of the city’s skyline will change. The racing village planned at Piers 27-29 along the heart of the city’s waterfront is continuing. The village will be converted into a cruise ship terminal after the America’s Cup events.
Marina Green Rendering © 2012 Gilles Martin-Raget/www.americascup.com
Lee said the change was made after negotiators concluded they didn’t have enough time to solve the financial, environmental and regulatory issues necessary to refurbish the piers in time for the challengers to move in and convert to their headquarters. Training runs can begin on the Bay in July. The agreement was also criticized by some supervisors and others as too sweet of a deal for Ellison and the city budget analyst recommended San Francisco share some of the future revenues from the property.
Who will compete?
So far, three teams have formally entered the competition. Lead Ellison negotiator Stephen Barclay said he expects a few more teams to sign up before the June 1 deadline.
Monday’s announcement also postponed a final Board of Supervisors vote Tuesday on the financial agreement between the city and Ellison. No new date has been set for the board to consider a redrafted final agreement.
Oracle training on San Francisco Bay. ©2012 Guilain GRENIER/www.americascup.com
Read the entire article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/22/MN6H1NB6T8.DTL#ixzz1o0aGLmYs
NBC Sports Group Sets Sail for America’s Cup with New Deal
NBC Sports Group landed yet another key piece in its continued push to acquire more rights to live sports, signing a deal to carry the 34th America’s Cup from San Francisco on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network in 2013.
The NBC Sports Group will present live coverage of the 34th America’s Cup on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network beginning on September 7, 2013 from the Cup’s host city of San Francisco. In the picture Jon Miller, President of Programming at the NBC Sports Group with Richard Worth, Chairman, America’s Cup Event Authority. Photo: ©2012 ACEA/www.americascup.com
The first two days of racing Sept. 7-8 will air on NBC, with the remaining races airing on NBC Sports Network. NBC’s coverage of the opening two days will mark the marquee yacht competition’s first appearance on network television since 1993, when ABC broadcast the opening race from San Diego. All others have been carried live on cable since 1983 (the first time an American yacht club failed to win the Cup in 132 years).
NBC Sports Group also acquired the rights to the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, which determines the challenger for the America’s Cup Finals. NBC will also televise the final day of racing from three stops on the America’s Cup World Series this summer. NBC Sports Group is not paying a rights fee; rather, America’s Cup officials will acquire airtime and offer commercial time first to their own sponsors.
Read Full Post »