City has soaring vision for America's Cup plan

The City envisions devoting a huge portion of the central waterfront to an America’s Cup village, including a soaring webbed structure that evokes a sail to provide cover over the “public heart” of the village.

That public heart will be located at Pier 30-32, as reported in The San Francisco Examiner last month.

What wasn’t known until now is that Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposal for the waterfront would also make use of Pier 28 for a media center, Brannan Street Wharf to host the “superyachts” that carry the racing yachts from their points of origin to the race, Pier 48 for administration, as well as Pier 50 for the team bases, and Seawalls 330 and 337 for entertainment and media.

The information came from a slideshow released by Newsom’s office. The mayor and his staff presented the slideshow to billionaire and yachting enthusiast Larry Ellison on Thursday as part of a direct pitch of The City’s proposal to host the illustrious America’s Cup race.

The race is considered one of the largest sporting events in the world, and San Francisco is competing with Spain and Italy to host the race on its waterfront. Ellison has the privilege of naming the next site, since his team, BMW-Oracle Racing, won the last cup in Valencia, Spain, in February.

The City must meet a deadline of Sept. 30 to hand the team its proposal, and the mayor wants the proposal to be endorsed by the Board of Supervisors prior to that.

Project manager Kyri McClellan said Newsom had asked Ellison for a “check-in meeting” to “make sure we were on the same page” before lodging the documents with the supervisors.

“The objective of the meeting was to present our vision for the America’s Cup on the San Francisco Bay, and we were able to make that direct pitch and have a level of confidence that our pitch is ready for the primetime,” McClellan said.

She declined to provide specifics about Ellison’s response to the presentation, but she implied it was positive.

“The meeting definitely gave us that level of confidence that we need to move forward into the public arena on the agreement,” she said.

She said the team and The City will continue to hammer out the final details for the agreement over the next week, and then will turn the plan over to the board for approval. Financial details are not available.

According to the conceptual presentation made to Ellison, Pier 50 will be fitted with more than a dozen large, perhaps temporary warehouse-type buildings that will become team bases for the teams.

Piers 30 and 32 would be a center for food and beverage sales, a presumably VIP “Foredeck Club”, and public viewing of the race. In one slide, a large projector screen showing a racing boat hangs from a several-story high screen-like structure, above a large crowd of admiring sailing fans.

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