Fierce battle takes place over America's Cup agreement

February 23, 2012 8:31:52 PM PST
The America's Cup is still over a year away, but a critical hearing over a large amount of money took place Wednesday at San Francisco City Hall. City leaders are asking a lot of tough questions about how much the city could end up spending to upgrade the waterfront for the big yacht race.

The finance committee was supposed to make a decision on the America's Cup deal. The major hang-up has been with the real estate portion of the agreement with the America's Cup Event Authority. The Event Authority answers to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who won the cup and brought it to San Francisco.

The Event Authority, the port, and the city all agreed that the city and the port would hand over those piers.

Pier 29 was part of the original agreement, but the city later backtracked on that and now the city wants the Event Authority to agree to put a cap on how much the city will have to reimburse Ellison for repairing the piers.

"We owe it to the public that we condition our approval with a hard cap, an actual, real, hard cop being put in place," said Supervisor David Campos.

"We won't agree to a cap as in a hard cap because as I said before, the America's Cup was awarded to San Francisco on the basis of we would be reimbursed for what we spend upgrading the piers," said Stephen Barclay, CEO of the Event Authority.

Barclay told the supervisors the pier restoration is scheduled to take about a year. They only have nine months to get it done, before the first primary races come to San Francisco. That's the America's Cup World Series.

The meeting was still ongoing as of 6:30 p.m.


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