America's Cup Battle: Tom Ammiano vs Chris Daly

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Oct 1, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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Would yacht race benefit the region, or just super-rich developers?

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You'll never guess who's opposed to San Francisco hosting the America's Cup yacht race. Surprise! Chris Daly doesn't like rich-people stuff!

Daly is making the most of his last few weeks in office by turning up his nose at a chance to be on the welcoming committee and speaking out against the race. "It's a billionaire's regatta," he said.

Meanwhile, Tom Ammiano sponsored a bill to clean up the waterfront so it's all ship-shape, so to speak, in time for the proposed contest. Currently, the piers on the waterfront are dilapidated and hazardous, with only spotty repairs. But in recent years, there's been a push to clean up the property, remove decades of toxic waste and build new public and private space. That would be a monumentally expensive undertaking and some politicians see the America's Cup as the perfect opportunity to finance those operations.

Larry Ellison, the Oracle CEO overseeing the race, would make out like a bandit if the race did indeed come to SF. He'd get rent-free leases for 75 years on some piers. In return, the region would get an infusion of around $1.4 billion, plus thousands of jobs, according to pro-corporate analysts.

But Daly pointed out that infrastructure upgrades of the Olympics don't always translate into economic success.

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