What seemed like a sure thing now has a big question mark surrounding it. Organizers of the next America's Cup say they're not happy with the city's latest offer and they're ready to walk away from San Francisco.
From the beginning, negotiations were based on the city giving organizers development rights for waterfront property in exchange that the rundown piers will be repaired. For a while, the focus was on the central waterfront near AT&T Park, but the city's latest offer has shifted everything to the northern waterfront, between piers 19 and 29.
As a result, Pier 50, just south of the ballpark, is no longer part of the plan which apparently was a key piece to race organizers. Despite threats to back out, city leaders are still optimistic that the America's Cup will come to San Francisco.
"We have the only really viable bid and substantive bid. If they don't like it they can reject it and they can delay the America's Cup because that's ultimately what they'll have to do," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "And that would be a big black eye to the America's Cup brand and unnecessary because the city has done an extraordinary amount."
The Board of Supervisors will meet on Tuesday. They will vote and likely move forward on a bid. If the bid is accepted, the America's Cup is expected to generate over a billion dollars into the local economy. The deadline to reach a deal is Friday.
Meantime, the city of Richmond is offering its waterfront as a place for America's Cup teams to practice and train before the event begins in San Francisco. The city would receive as much as $100,000 a month for leasing space at the Port of Richmond. City leaders feel that Richmond's image and economy would benefit from being associated with the race.