«$5.5 million in losses, all for the sake of sailing races for billionaires. All this is nothing more than a fool's play about how our entire city is investing one percent of the rich, a dime».
San Francisco Supervisory Board member John Avalos was never a fan of the «America»'s Cup and called it a failure months before he arrived in town. A December 10 report on the impact of the 34th America's Cup on the city's economy substantiated his opinion with figures.
San Francisco has spent $20.7 million on the Cup, which does not include long-term investments in coastal development ($180 million). Private injections cover the project to a certain extent, but still leave a hole in the pockets of taxpayers at $5.5 million, which Avalos says.
In 2010, analysts predicted the economic impact of the regatta on the city in the amount of $1 billion. They strongly miscalculated. The real figures are closer to $364 million. If we do not trivialize and add here the construction of a terminal for cruise ships, we can increase this amount to $550 million.
Why is the Cup so steeply overrated? Eric Young, a reporter for the San Francisco Business Times, gives at least three reasons. First, it happens all along when it comes to major sporting events, be it the Olympics, the Super Cup or the «America»'s Cup. It's hard to predict how beneficial they will be. Second, the year 2010 for the «America's Cup» was a tough one for San Francisco. It needed PR and dollars. The winners were those who believed in the world's biggest sailing performance.
Finally, no one could guess how scandalous the race would be. The death of an athlete, the small number of teams, the small number of spectators and therefore the lack of sponsorship money.
The numbers came in anticipation of December 22, the deadline to apply for the next, Thirty-fifth «America»'s Cup, along with appeals from city officials who are seriously committed to hosting the 35th America»'s Cup«.
Mayor Ed Lee is confident that everything went well. His message looks like this:
The world has learned about the beautiful San Francisco, thousands of jobs have been created, the coastal infrastructure has finally been improved, and tourists have spent on the city.
David Chu, chairman of the Supervisory Board supports him. He admits that the «Cup» did not meet initial financial expectations, but its cost is modest compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that will come to the treasury.
The mayor's bravado is not credible to ordinary citizens. Anonymous said that the jobs created «»both came and went, local jobs were paid at the minimum rate, some payments are still delayed, while billionaire Larry Allison saved and did not hire local workers.
While San Francisco thinks Allison and Coutts are showing a lot of interest in the city, and a repeat of the 2017 regatta is very likely.