The biggest fish - Page 5

The America's Cup would transform San Francisco's waterfront -- but is it a good deal for the city?

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The next world-famous sailing match could be held in San Francisco in 2013
PHOTO BY JEAN-BAPTISTE DANIEL

However, the veracity of those claims came into question in mid-November. Daly, incensed that the Mayor's Office never communicated with him about the Cup despite wanting to hold it in his sixth supervisorial district, launched his own personal investigation. He fired off an e-mail to Team Alinghi, a prior America's Cup winner, and began communicating with other European contacts until he got in touch with someone in Valencia's municipal government.

"I got a call back from a representative who basically said I should know something," Daly recounted. Valencia, his source said, never submitted a bid to host the Cup. At a Nov. 13 press conference, Valencia's mayor Rita Barbera confirmed this claim, according to a Spanish press report, expressing disappointment that the city had been eliminated from consideration as a host venue. "There was no formal bidding process," she charged. She also denied reports that any money had been offered.

Meanwhile, the Budget Analyst was unable to find any concrete evidence that other host city bids had been submitted. "We have nothing to confirm that other offers have been made," Fred Brousseau of the Budget Analyst's office told the Guardian.

In response to Guardian queries about whether the Mayor's Office had evidence that Italy had indeed submitted a bid, Project Manager Kyri McClellan of the OEWD forwarded a one-page resolution from the Italian prime minister assuring race organizers that there would be tax breaks, accelerated approvals, and other perks guaranteed if the Cup came to Italy. However, an Italian journalist who looked over the resolution told the Guardian that the document didn't appear to be a formal bid, merely a response to a query from race organizers.

Daly has his doubts that either Valencia or the Italian port were ever seriously considered. "I think they were phantom bids," he said, "created by either Larry Ellison or the Newsom administration ... to place pressure on the Board of Supervisors."

A representative from OEWD told the Guardian that officials have no reason to doubt that the European bids, and accompanying offers of money, were real. However, the city wasn't privy to race organizer's discussions about possible European venues. A final decision is expected before the end of the year.

Daly hasn't held back in voicing opposition to the America's Cup and blasted it at an Oct. 5 Board meeting. "This tacking around Sup. Daly will not get you in calmer waters," Daly said. "I told myself I was not going to make a yachting reference. But I will bring a white squall onto this race and onto this Cup, and I will do everything in my power starting on Jan. 8 to make sure these boats never see that water."

 

WIND IN WHOSE SAILS?

The America's Cup would undoubtedly bring economic benefit to the area and create work at a time when jobs are scarce. Police officers would get overtime. Restaurant servers would be scrambling to keep up with demand. Construction workers seeking temporary employment would get gigs. Hotels would rake it in. Pier 39 would be booming. However, the Budget Analyst report cautioned: "It is unlikely that any labor benefits would remain in the years after the America's Cup event is completed."

Certain small businesses would catch a windfall. John Caine, owner the Hi Dive bar at Pier 28, didn't hesitate when asked about his opinion on the city hosting the Cup. "Please come fix our piers. It's a shout-out to Larry Ellison," he said. Caine said he supports the America's Cup bid 100 percent, and is excited about the boost it could give his business. The Hi Dive would not be required to relocate under the proposal, he added.

Comments

Great piece,

The two numbers that jump out are the 35 acres of Bay front that Ellison would actually control. Newsom's people had everyone thinking it was 3 acres.

The other one is that you have a very astute post on another of your threads about this issue (or is it on the Bay Citizen?) who has a serious big time real estate background and says that any competent Realtor could get 50 times the value at which the Mayor is valuing the property they're proposing to give away (in a poker game where there aren't even any other players!) ... Means, Ellison is getting over 5 billion in property and we're losing, what, 80 pier businesses and how many jobs?

Time for Mirkarimi to show for the first time in his career that he can admit to a mistake. This is an incredible debacle and Ross is the lynch pin. If he doesn't flip on the issue, SF loses billions in value and all he get's is a chance to have a martini with Larry Ellison. Choose one, Ross. The people. Or, the photo op.

Go Niners!

h.

Posted by Guest h. brown on Nov. 30, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

A couple comments.

Firstly, is the city honestly going to consider losing the hosting of the America's Cup and its massive attendant benefits over a mere $10 million, out of a budget close to $6 Billion?? You ~have~ to be kdding me!

On the long term leases, the partner who already has half of SWL: 330, and built a condo there, renegged on a deal to resuscitate Pier 32. The numbers did not add up for him. Fortunately by some miracle this opportunity has arrived to salvage the idea, one that rescue the piers and also absolve the Port of a truly massive deficit problem with that, and maybe a couple other dilapidated, piers. How do you propose to raise city money to save those piers from crumbling into the ocean?

On the competition. Who knows who Alinghi put Daly in touch with, but Alinghi and their owner, spiteful and hurt billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, just took a very serious beating at the hands of Ellison. Who do you think they tried to find for Daly? Someone who might support the Ellison cause? Of course not. Who they found is a nobody. Nobody has ever heard of this guy, I have looked into it too. To top that, the very next day after Daly posted the so-called non-proposal story from out of Valencia, the mayor of Valencia, Rita Barbera, said on live camera that her city had indeed offered 250 million Euros in (already) purpose-built facilities, but that the Americans had deemed the Italian offer to be stronger. Why would the ACEA have turned down the Valencia offer she spoke of, if the Italian offer was not in fact stronger? The fact that insiders in Rome are holding their cards close to the vest should be no surprise. They WANT this prize, believe me.

This is a very big deal. It is not going to solve other city budget allocation issues, decide who gets what from the $6 Billion. But it will, if wiser heads than Daly's prevail, generate an enormous boost to the city overall, as well as massive improvements to the waterfront that have no other good prospects for them at all.

Lastly: This is a about a fantastic, clean, beautiful, proud image for San Francisco. The America's Cup puts places positively on the world map like almost nothing else does. Yes, SF could use that about now! Quite frankly, articles like this do the opposite.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 30, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

You have one number wrong.

Ellison spent a decade pursuing the Cup at a total cost of $1 billion, not $100 million !!!

Posted by Stingray on Nov. 30, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

On one hand you mention hard economic times as an impact to raising sponsorship and a reason for not supporting a billionaires yacht race and yet on the other you fail to see that hard economic times are exactly the reason why the piers in question will continue to rot. So the lost rent figures are slightly skewed given that context.

Surely it's better to continue to improve the water front and host a world class event that will generate revenue you would never have seen anyway than hold out for another property developer that will be looking for a killer deal as well but will bring no new tourism to the city.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 30, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

Once upon a time, hosting the America's Cup was a prestigious thing. In fact, one of the reasons for competing for the America's Cup was to win the right to host the event the next time around.

It's a shame that the Golden Gate Yacht Club and Larry Ellison put the event out to tender. Instead, winning the Cup should have been the same as winning the right to host the Olympics. The citizens of San Francisco should have started planning to host the event the day after BMW ORACLE beat Alinghi.

Major events always cause these fights. People in Albert Park in Melbourne don't like the F1 Grand Prix there and it probably loses the city some cash, but it puts the city on the international stage for a couple of days a year and generates some tourism dollars. The UK people are ambivalent about the cost of the Olympics, but hopefully there will be some legacy infrastructure that comes out of it.

Some people are going to make money, some people are going to lose money. The Golden Gate Yacht Club should just announce with pride that they are glad to have won the right to hold the America's Cup in San Francisco, then everyone should get on with making it an incredible event.

Posted by Dave Fuller on Dec. 01, 2010 @ 2:23 am

These billionaires will not be satisfied until we begin to present them with a stream publicly funded of gold bricks.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Dec. 01, 2010 @ 9:58 am

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