America's Cup makes new home in San Francisco

The America's Cup was put on display at San Francisco City Hall.

February 20, 2010 7:25:26 PM PST
The America's Cup was unveiled for the public to see at San Francisco City Hall.

The cup's permanent home will be at the Golden Gate Yacht Club once it finishes going on tour. The club is building a special room just for the trophy.

"Well who the heck needs the Olympics and Super Bowl when you got the America's Cup," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The world's oldest sports trophy has arrived to its newest home in San Francisco. Saturday, it was on public display at City Hall and instantly, the flashes filled the room.

"It's so exciting to see the cup live here in San Francisco," said Levant Bas of San Francisco.

"It's pretty spectacular to see it right here," said Dick Watts of San Francisco.

Bright Winn is a member of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. He compares this moment - to being a new father.

"We have been on edge about this and we were a small quiet, little blue collar club, we were the Cinderella and the prince came and brought this into our lives," said Winn.

America's Cup tradition allows for the winning team to select the host city for the next race - which is expected in 2013. The average host city generates $1 billion for itself. Valencia Spain, which held the competition this year, made $700 million. San Diego and Newport, Rhode Island have already started wooing team owner, Larry Ellison.

"My friends in San Diego, the governor may be out there in the crowd from Rhode Island, but we are going to make a very strong case for San Francisco Bay," said Newsom.

Ellison made no promises, but did make his preference city - clear.

"Sincerely we hope mayor, we'll be competing in your city, San Francisco," said Ellison.

But holding this type of a competition here won't be easy. Costly infrastructure needs to be built, including a sailing village, similar to an Olympic village.

"We need enough land to build 16 bases on the water where you can pull the boats out of the water, maintain them and put them back in the water every day, and then a protected marina in front of that," said Ellison.

"We will do whatever it takes to make this work in the city and county of San Francisco," said Newsom.

The city has already identified six possible locations for development including Treasure Island and South Beach. Ellison also said he expects some kind of bond measure to help pay for the investment.