With the deadline to enter having expired at midnight on August 1, four teams (Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge and Team Korea) will be challenging Oracle Team USA for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013, the opening ceremony for which is set for July 4 with the finals and Oracle to start racing on September 7.
And with only a third the number of teams originally forecast now participating, and scaled-down development plans along the waterfront, at the very least the birds of San Francisco and their attorneys will still come out ahead.
34th America’s Cup Provisional Racing Program [americascup.com]
Amended America’s Cup Host Agreement Approved [SocketSite]
A $225,000 America’s Cup Settlement That’s For The Birds [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by CH

    So how much is this going to cost us? Is there a new economic forecast? But it will raise our profile, right? Funny quote in the NYT re Olympics being an economic drain on London right now:
    “Having the Olympics in London is the best possible gift you could ask for because it has given London a profile on the global stage,” Mr. Hunt said, to the surprise of those who might have thought that London was already well established as one of the world’s major cities.”

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I guess wining the bronze won’t be very impressive when there’s only five teams. “We won this medal for being mediocre!”

  3. Posted by curmudgeon

    The news about how empty london is right now really resonates. Remember the early predictions about how popular this contest was going to be, with hundreds of thousands of fans thronging the waterfront? Now with only five teams, probably best to not get over-excited and drive “normal” tourist business away, which is exactly what happened in London.

  4. Posted by kg

    Thank your friendly local obstructionist. Mr. Aaron Peskin, please take a bow!

  5. Posted by Agendaless

    The cup is winner take all, so no bronze

  6. Posted by BT

    Maybe we lucked out. Given all the typical SF sturm und drang over this, I doubt we could have pulled off a 15 contender event. But maybe we can do 5. And I rather like the idea of a compact little race. When the time comes, it’ll probably get just as much publicity (however much that is for what is essentially a sport of the very rich).
    As I recall, once upon a time they had qualifying events around the world and then only 2 contenders raced in the final, usually off Newport Rhode Island. So this really shouldn’t disappoint anyone.

  7. Posted by curmudgeon

    kg…I can blame peskin for lots of things, but what in the world does he have to do with the fact that very few teams signed up for the race? Seems to me this whole process has been handled reasonably well, given the circumstances. Both the sponsors and City wisely pulled back from over-investment in a race that is not nearly as large as it was originally billed.

  8. Posted by kddid

    I actually think the “sturm und drang” served us well in this case. There aren’t only five teams because of SF politics, but because the global economy is in the pits and no one wants to spend the hundreds of millions on a stupid boat race. Now I am glad that we didn’t give away the store to Larry Ellison and his pirates (including long-term leasing rights to the waterfront) to chase an illusury pot of gold. Turns out to be more like a couple pieces of eight. Now the early naysayers can say they were right in this case, which of course will make them insufferable in the future.
    But generally I don’t buy the whole sports-generates-economic-development trope (tho AT&T park seems to have worked). Better to pin our hopes on good, long-range developments. I’m only sad that the original rosy estimates weren’t true because I don’t see any other sugar-daddies bringing $$$ to help the Port and City redevelop the crumbling piers. It would have been nice to enjoy the sparkling glow of potential redevelopment, even if it would have only lasted a couple of months.

  9. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Whether there are five or five hundred teams competing won’t change the fact that NOBODY CARES.

  10. Posted by kg

    @curmudgeon, as the editor notes:
    It’s my belief that those who made it an obnoxious bureaucratic struggle ultimately exhausted enthusiasm/will to participate.

  11. Posted by Marten

    Global economics may be partially to blame, but Ellison’s team shoulders alot of the blame for insisting on using bigger catamarans for the final races. They could have just used the smaller ones throughout and there would have been twice as many teams at least.

  12. Posted by Fffffff

    Looks like Chris Daly was right to be skeptical about this from the beginning.

  13. Posted by EH

    NO WAY, Daly is not allowed to be right about *anything*.

  14. Posted by lol

    How’s his new bartender job doing, by the way?

  15. Posted by condoshopper

    all this hoopla and it boils down to watching 5 rich dudes ride their boat.

  16. Posted by CH

    “Whether there are five or five hundred teams competing won’t change the fact that NOBODY CARES.”
    It does matter and I care! Serious question about a new economic forecast, has the city released updated projections?

  17. Posted by R

    Does having only 5 teams make this a failure? I thought the goal was a major event bringing in a ton of fans, how does this affect that goal?

  18. Posted by curmudgeon

    ^ R I believe that a lot of the economic benefit was projected to be due to the extended presence of teams, because they bring along a large entourage, and they would be in the Bay Area for months at a time. Therefore fewer teams, smaller event, less positive economic impact.
    It would also seem to be true that fewer teams=fewer heats, fewer hometown visitors, and less excitement overall.

  19. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Indeed. How will the city survive without the economic impact of the thronging legions of sailing fans? Those mobs of devotees across the planet who never miss a race. All three of them.
    Now we’ll end up with empty hotels, unsold “I heart SF” t-shirts, and nobody’s name on a grain of rice. So many souvenir pennies unsmashed. The economic fallout from this tragedy will undoubtedly be felt for generations.

  20. Posted by shza

    Legacy Dude is completely right. The notion that this would be a major, fan-filled SF event has seemed beyond ludicrous to me from the get-go. CH, you have to realize that your are part of a miniscule minority. I would wager that fewer that 10% of San Franciscans know even now that this race will be happening. Probably fewer than 20% even know there is such a thing as America’s Cup.

  21. Posted by curmudgeon

    Legacy Dude…you and I are clearly on the same page here. I winced when I read the first projections. Never made any sense, and I’m glad we seem to be in a more realistic place these days. And we’re getting part of the costs of a new cruise terminal covered, right? So there will be benefits.

  22. Posted by Helmut

    Even with 5 teams, this should be fun to watch – probably more so as fewer teams will make it easier to understand whats going on. I have plans to watch the races at the end of August, and I have quite a few folks who want to come sailing with me and see things as close as we can.
    As for the whole rich guy thing, just to keep it all in perspective, I bought my boat, a 1980 Cal 25, for under $4,000.00 and the slip fee over at gaslight cove is $200.00 a month. Its not necessarily a rich guy sport, more like another generic, highly specialized sport that anyone can learn if they put some time in.

  23. Posted by Mark F.

    America’s Cup? Is that what Obama drinks from?

  24. Posted by Jeremy Anderson

    I never understood what the “Economic benefit” of this was. Wouldn’t it be a longer lasting Economic Benefit to keep the 49er’s in town? They play what, 8 home games a year, drawing 60k per event? Every Year, for the last 40 some odd years?
    Americas Cup has a few races for one year, and we have to build them a stadium or grandstand or something to do it?

  25. Posted by tipster

    The 49ers no longer actively contribute to anyone’s campaign, therefore their “economic benefit that matters” is nil.
    On the other hand, giving land to a billionaire, who would have to come back hat in hand to every politician in town over the next ten years has a significant “economic benefit that matters”.
    But apparently, you are too naive to get this. Fortunately, the consultants who come up with this nonsense and charge a fortune to do it are not quite as naive.
    Therefore, they can show economic benefits to the city of a single boat race in the hundreds of trillions of dollars. In fact, their first report came back as having an economic benefit to SF equal to the GDP of the entire planet for the next 1000 years, but that got scaled back.
    The economic benefit to keeping the 49ers is, according to the same high priced “consultants”, equal to one mustard packet on a hot dog. Thus, a half-hearted attempt to keep the 49ers compared to the all out push for AC.
    Now are you getting this?

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