We're pretty sure yachts aren't powered by steam, but nevertheless it's full-steam-ahead for the America's Cup race in the San Francisco Bay.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is acting fast to vote on Gavin Newsom's proposal for inviting the huge race to San Francisco in 2013. City officials are falling all over each other to crow about the opportunity, which could bring billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the area.
The call will be made by none other than mega-rich peninsula-resident Larry Ellison. The Oracle CEO won the last America's Cup which means he gets to pick the location. San Francisco Bay is considered Ellison's home turf. His winning BMW Oracle Racing team was sponsored by the Golden Gate Yacht Club. With that said though, Ellison has not given an indication if the City is even a front runner.
The San Francisco proposal calls for $270 million in sponsorships and donations, as well as tax breaks and lucrative leases. Although the city would not offer any subsidies, it could stand to lose tax and rental income.
Supervisor Chris Daly is among the lone dissenters. Calling the race a luxury indulgence, he questions the trade-offs being offered by the city. Race organizers will get lengthy leases on valuable waterfront property in exchange for hosting the race in the City, rather than in competing cities in Europe. Daly also expressed annoyance that the mayor had not contacted him about the proposal, although the Mayor's office claims otherwise.
When asked about Daly's opposition, Newsom responded, "Who?"
The Land Use Committee was undaunted, and voted unanimously yesterday to advance the proposal to the whole board. The Board of Supervisors could vote on the project as soon as Tuesday, at which point it would be submitted Ellison.