SF must sign deal or lose host bid

San Francisco is pushing ahead with a bid to host the America’s Cup sailing race on the northern waterfront despite threats that The City has jeopardized its lead position to host the event.

Billionaire Oracle CEO Larry 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 in 2013.

San Francisco emerged as a leader in the race to host the event in San Francisco Bay, but  America’s Cup official Stephen Barclay warned Saturday that a deal must be signed this week or The City could lose its chance to be the host.

The event has reopened talks with Italy about hosting the event as well as reapproached Newport, R.I. Organizers have set a deadline of Friday for the proposal so it can inform teams of the venue by Dec. 31.

The letter from Barclay indicated that San Francisco officials had changed the agreement they had initially negotiated. The new proposal — which Newsom’s staff said was crafted with the team — includes moving the event to the northern waterfront, which would be less expensive for The City.

The northern waterfront location emerged as the leading option for San Francisco after the Port of San Francisco backed the plan. The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee last week discussed the option, but put any decision on hold pending a financial study.
<br>The proposal is scheduled to be back before the budget committee today and then before the full board on Tuesday.

Newsom on Sunday said that he is still confident that the current bid is a good deal for both The City and the America’s Cup team.

“We had good conversations yesterday and we will get this through the committee tomorrow and on Tuesday,” Newsom said. “I think it will be overwhelmingly supported and we will meet the deadline.”

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bay Area NewsGavin NewsomGovernment & PoliticsLocalPoliticsSan Francisco

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