SF Taxpayers Could Be On Hook for America's Cup Bill

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    This ain't cheap. Or free.

    Whose Cup? Our Cup. Or at least our bill -- for Larry Ellison's America's Cup.

    The committee of private businessmen who promised to raise $30 million in capital in order to keep hosting the 34th America's Cup cost-free for San Francisco taxpayers is behind its fundraising goals, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

    The organizing committee is $10 million behind its fundraising goal for the year, having raised only $2 million so far, its members told the Board of Supervisors. They will also have to raise another $20 million over the next two years to offset the city's share of the cost of hosting the race, as was promised.

    Race organizers billed the event as "cost-free" for San Francisco. The race is also supposed to create $1.4 billion of "economic activity" for the Bay Area once races are underway in 2013.

    Hosting the internationally-renown regatta will also transform San Francisco's waterfront, as Port properties are changed from dilapidated piers to world-class yachting berths, as well as condominiums and hotels. This will bring badly-needed union jobs back to the area, said Supervisor John Avalos, who called the hearing on America's Cup.

    “This is a unique opportunity to create a jobs plan that revitalizes our waterfront and puts our local communities and union members back to work,” said the mayoral candidate Avalos, according to the newspaper.