America's Cup reach tax exempt status

September 19, 2011 8:04:03 PM PDT
America's Cup organizers say everything is on schedule for the 2013 regatta, but they won't say how much money they've raised so far. The organizing committee has promised $32 million to offset city expenses.

The host city agreement requires the America's Cup Organizing Committee to raise the $32 million from private sources. The first installment on that $32 million comes due in about three months.

The head of the America's Cup Organizing Committee says they have their tax exempt status.

"So all of the donations that are coming in are tax exempt and that is very significant," said Kyri McClellan, CEO of the America's Cup Organizing Committee.

The group also got $2 million from members of the America's Cup Committee, but in terms of hosting the next America's Cup event, $2 million is a drop in the bay and the first installment on the rest of the money is due soon.

"The first $12 million is due by the end of the environmental review process," said McClellan.

You can figure that may be at the end of the year -- three and a half months from now.

When asked about the news articles that said the group was running behind, McClellan said, "Yep, we are not running behind in the least bit. It's not in my benefit to tell you exactly where we are at in that milestone until I'm done having all the meetings that we have on schedule right now."

The head of the committee says fundraising has entered a quite phase; there are no public pronouncements. The city is already spending the money. In fact, it's already spent $3 to $4 million already and all $12 million has already been budgeted, though it hasn't yet been raised.

"The host city agreement clearly states that the city has the right to terminate if we don't demonstrate that we have $12 million raised by the end of this year," said McClellan.

The city has said the region expects a $1 billion benefit from the 2013 America's Cup. So how likely is it that the city would pull out of the deal for the lack of $12 million?

"I mean that's a question for the people who have the ability to vote on that," said Mike Martin, a representative from the mayor's office.

Martin deferred that question to the mayor and to county supervisors.

"That's weighing process will go on with the people that have the authority to do that and we're going to support them and give them the information they need to make that decision," said Martin.

So we know the committee has raised $2 million and we knew that in July, when they didn't yet have their tax exempt status. Then they said that the exemption would really help kick fundraising into high gear. Well, now they have it and they're not saying how much they've raised, just that they're on track.


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