Ammiano bill would finance America's Cup development

State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, is authoring a bill to provide financing powers to the Port of San Francisco to develop part of the city's waterfront in its bid to host the next America's Cup, a spokesman said today.

The city is competing to host the international sailing competition in 2013 and has promised to develop several bayfront areas as
part of the deal.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle Racing team won the last America's Cup in Spain in February on behalf of San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club, meaning the club and team get to choose the site of the next race.

To help improve San Francisco's chances, Ammiano authored AB 1706, which would allow the Port of San Francisco to create an infrastructure financing district so it could develop and improve the areas that would be used heavily during the race.

Piers 30-32, Pier 50 and Seawall Lot 351, the areas targeted by the legislation, are in need of repair, and the funding mechanism created by the bill would allow the city to reallocate money for that purpose, Ammiano spokesman Quintin Mecke said.

Mecke said the bill gives San Francisco more financial flexibility, which is necessary “given the scope of the cost” of the project.

The city this week submitted a formal framework for the terms of the event.

“The mayor's office is leading the local effort, and statewide, we're working to make sure any state legislation required for this is
handled,” Mecke said.

The bill has widespread bipartisan support, including from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and could be voted on as early as next week if the
Legislature convenes for a vote on the state budget, according to Ammiano's office.

“The America's Cup represents a historic opportunity to showcase all that San Francisco and the Bay Area have to offer while at the same time developing the city's waterfront into a destination for generations to come,” Ammiano said in a statement.

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