Latest on Port’s bid to host 2017 America’s Cup

San Diego County supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday backing the Port’s bid to host the 2017 America’s Cup sailing races. The vote may have been symbolic, but there’s more than enough work for everyone involved if San Diego is to get an event that would impact the local economy by hundreds of millions of dollars off the ground.

The supervisors are very supportive of the Port’s bid. The City Council will take a similar vote Thursday, but as Port spokesperson Ron Powell told the supervisors before their vote:

“I want it to be clear too, it’s a heavy lift – the Port can’t do it alone. We’re going to need help from everyone; this is a village, not one entity.”

The venues for the 2017 America’s Cup have come down to two bids: it’s San Diego versus British overseas territory Bermuda, and Bermuda has made it clear it has far more financial incentives to offer than San Diego. But, we have an arena to offer – the San Diego Bay, with its built-in infrastructure and, as importantly, its spectator-friendly viewing areas such as The Embarcadero, Harbor Island and Coronado. San Diego already has staged two big bay sailing events on what would be the same course, one of them being the RC-44 World Championships in 2011. Supervisors Dave Roberts and Greg Cox brought the resolution to the board.

“With our developing downtown, our developing Port, we’ve got the facilities to do this,” stated Roberts.

Ocean racing and its inaccessibility for most of the public is not where America’s Cup officials want to be anymore.

“This particular venue, because of its location and proximity to so many points of population, parks, it’ll be the most spectacular viewing anybody’s had the chance to host,” said Cox.

The 2013 Cup races in San Francisco were a big hit. San Francisco may not be in the mix for 2017, however, for the city reportedly had hoped for a bigger impact.

“They made about $400 million; they were hoping for $1.5 billion. I’ll take $100 million at that point,” said President of the Port Tenant’s Association Sharon Bernie-Cloward to the supervisors.

Infrastructure – you put the teams here at the B Street pier. No cruise ships are scheduled during the event. Media – down at the Broadway pier. Don’t forget all of the improvements currently going on along the San Diego waterfront, including the completion of a new park at the County Administration Building – a park capable of hosting a concert for 8,000 people. And it’s not as if San Diego isn’t familiar with the event: the city hosted three America’s Cups in the late 80’s and early 1990’s. Powell told KUSI-TV a decision by the Cup Selection Committee is expected by the end of the year.

Categories: KUSI