Last Minute Change: America's Cup Race May Head to New York

New York City may play host to America's Cup racing this summer.

Is New York ready? New York doesn't even know about it yet.

America's Cup race officials are thinking about switching a preliminary race scheduled for August 18-26 in San Francisco to waters off of New York City, according to reports.

"It's not a strong possibility, but it is a possibility," America's Cup spokesperson Stephanie Martin said. "We plan to host our August AC World Series event in either San Francisco or New York, and will be firming that venue stop very shortly.

"The opportunity to bring the AC World Series to another iconic American venue and one that would provide such tremendous exposure as New York is very attractive, so we’re investigating the possibilities. 

"The exposure it would bring to wider audiences across the United States would greatly benefit our 2013 events in the City of San Francisco as well," Martin wrote in an email.

A March 5 news release mentions that World Series races -- the races that precede the full Cup races scheduled for 2013 -- may move from San Francisco to New York. Other World Series races are scheduled for Venice, Naples, and Newport, RI.

The change surprised some San Francisco city officials, who said the potential switch was not mentioned in the heated negotiations that led up to a scaled-down version of the America's Cup for the waterfront announced. The America's Cup Event Authority announced that race facilities will stay on Pier 80, and won't rebuild -- and win 66-year rent-free leases on -- Piers 30 and 32, according to reports.

The final location of the AC World Series race in August will be announced "shortly," according to organizers.

That race will be on television on NBC, and hosting the race in New York will help boost awareness and fan interest, organizers told The Chronicle.

The communications director for the New York Yacht Club said that he had not heard of any plans to host a boat race in New York.

There will be America's Cup action in San Francisco Bay in 2012 guaranteed: there's a race in October, too.

-- NBC Bay Area is the local media sponsor of the America's Cup 2013.

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