San Francisco to be only US contender to host next AC, but Europe remains an option
San Francisco has put forward a strong, venue proposal and is now the only city in the USA under consideration to host the 34th America’s Cup match.
The city is home to the Golden Gate Yacht Club, whose team BMW ORACLE Racing, won the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain on 14 February. The next edition is scheduled for 2013 or 2014, the year to be determined by infrastructure development lead-times.
“Our team has said from the outset that San Francisco and the Bay Area have the potential to provide a superb stage on which to host a memorable America’s Cup,” commented Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing. “Our team owner, Larry Ellison, has called the Bay ‘a fantastic natural amphitheatre’.”
In being granted status as the sole venue candidate in the USA, San Francisco can forge ahead with plans to provide the necessary facilities for the America’s Cup along the City’s waterfront, south of the Bay Bridge. It also now allows San Francisco to “nationalize” their efforts and to seek support from the State of California and the federal government in Washington, D.C. Under the Cup’s governing rules, the Deed of Gift written in 1852, the winner and hence Defender for the next Match chooses the venue.
San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom said, “We are very honored to lead a national effort to host the 34th America’s Cup. Larry Ellison has a transformative vision for hosting the Cup on San Francisco Bay, and we are prepared to leverage the nation’s support to make this a coast-to-coast campaign and to realize that vision.” Other US cities have been excited by the prospect of hosting the America’s Cup match, notably Newport, Rhode Island where Cup racing was held from 1930 through 1983, San Diego, California which hosted Cup defenses in 1988, 1992 and 1995, and Long Beach, California, site of the 1984 Olympic yachting regatta and the annual Congressional Cup.
Coutts said, “We are extremely grateful to the other American candidates. Their disappointment is understandable as each would have been a great host city in its own right. And we appreciate their offers of support to San Francisco going forward. Strong expressions of interest from four European countries are also being studied by the American Defender. GGYC/BOR will announce a final decision on the venue, along with the date and other details of the next America’s Cup by the end of this year.
The America’s Cup has been defended only twice outside of the holder’s home waters in its 159 year history – at Valencia, Spain in 2007 and 2010. The City of San Francisco will be making its own announcement today.