Will America's Cup 2016 Return to San Francisco Bay?

The fan base is here in the Bay Area, but will the Cup return in 2016- that is the question

Larry Ellison's team produced one of the most impressive comebacks in the history of sports this week. And while there is no America's Cup parade planned down Market Street, the spotlight remains on the Oracle CEO as the world waits for his decision on where to hold the next sailing regatta.

With the Americans defending the Cup, the next race in 2016 will stay in the U.S., but the exact location is up to Ellison.

He said in his post-race press conference that it's too early to say whether the 35th America's Cup will be held in San Francisco in 2016, although he said he would "like" to do it.

The next thing that will happen is a meeting between race officials, Ellison and San Francisco leaders where some old fashioned wheeling and dealing will be done.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said while the world class sailing event filled hotel rooms and restaurants, as well as provided jobs, it also cost the city a lot of money to host and he wants to make sure there is an economic benefit if the race returns. 

"We reduced costs and can continue to do that and make it a more successful event so I'm hoping we can get into details quickly and pronounce we have a future deal in sight," Mayor Lee said.

Other cities will also be able to make their pitch to Ellison. The decision is still months away.

Ellison joked that he might like to hold it off the Hawaiian Island of Lanai, which is a piece of land he bought last year.

Instead of talking about the future, Ellison seemed to want to want to focus on his present victory declaring, "This regatta has changed sailing forever."

 “This was the most magnificent spectacle on the water,” added Ellison.

He credited the AC72 catamarans made the sailing faster, more extreme and friendlier for the viewing audience.

San Francisco has poured millions of dollars into getting ready for the America's Cup and now has the infrastructure to host it again in 2016.

In fact, the America's Cup Pavilion at Piers 27/29 is still a working concert venue, hosting a Lumineers show Wednesday night.

The America's Cup concert series will continue with the Avett Brothers performing on Oct. 12.

Ellison said an announcement would be made in the near future as to where the next Cup would take place. He also gets to decide what kind of boats will be used. “We’re all going to sit down and talk about what kind of boats we use going forward,” Ellison said.

At the award ceremony at America's Cup Park after the Oracle victory, former mayor and current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom congratulated the two teams and praised the city for hosting the regatta.

"This is the most fan-friendly America's Cup in history," Newsom said.

He thanked the massive crowd, estimated to have reached 25,000 at the waterfront venue, for "being part of history."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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