Possible America’s Cup location narrowed down

The northern waterfront of San Francisco has become the top choice for The City to anchor its bid to host the America’s Cup sailing contest.

As The City races to approve a host agreement by Tuesday, the northern waterfront was selected as the destination for the 2013 event, over the initially proposed central waterfront location, which would have been more expensive for The City.

City officials have been negotiating a host-agreement with America’s Cup Event Authority, established by billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing team won the cup in Valencia, Spain, in February and with it the right to select who will host the next cup race, which takes place in three years. Other contenders include an undisclosed location in Italy.

The agreement failed to make it out of the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee meeting Wednesday after board members requested a more detailed financial analysis of the northern waterfront location. The committee will meet again Monday, when it is expected to send the agreement to the full board for a vote Tuesday.

A host selection must be made by Dec. 31, city officials said, which is putting pressure on The City to approve an agreement Tuesday, the last scheduled board meeting of the year.

The event is expected to inject up to $1.2 billion into the local economy and create 9,000 jobs, according to a report. Critics warn that The City’s risk may be too great and the deal overly generous for Ellison.

The City’s deal includes the investment of tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money and the giving away of development rights for waterfront Port properties.

Amid deal concerns, Port director Monique Moyer told the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on Wednesday that she was “very happy with the caliber of the deal as it stands today.”

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu reaffirmed his support of the agreement Wednesday.

“This will have enormous benefits to our city, to our region, to our state,” Chiu said. “It is our job as a city to help ensure that we have positive economic impacts where we can.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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