The long debate over the details of the America's Cup is over. (No, that its 34th edition would be held in San Francisco was obvious, it was about something else.) This week, some understanding appeared to have been reached as to exactly what distance it would be held. True, the entire preceding procedure cannot be viewed other than as blackmailing of the city authorities by the Cup organizers.
What are we talking about? Holding the Cup is a costly event, on the one hand, and profitable, if done properly, on the other. Well, like the Olympics. Who is clever and cunning collects profits, who is lazy and ignorant counts losses. But in any case, in order to make a profit, it is necessary to carry some preliminary expenses. About this there was a dispute. As in an old Russian fairy tale - who gets the tops and who gets the roots? We already touched upon this question in this article: Captain Plague, but the events moved on.
On Wednesday, the City of San Francisco Board of Trustees decided not to make a final decision on the agreement between the city and the America's Cup organizers, and passed the responsibility higher up - to the Board of Trustees, which will meet Wednesday next week.
There's a pretty penny on the line: the race organizers are restoring the aging piers in exchange for giving them the waterfront for a long-term lease (concession).
The city itself is asking for laughable money from the Cup organizers: 12 paltry millions in direct investments as a compensation for the city's expenses. San Francisco authorities, however, want to involve Cup organizers in other promotional ventures according to the principle «share in profits equals share in costs», but Cup organizers, according to city authorities, «are not ready for these steps». At the same time, the organizers themselves, represented by Mike Martin, the development director of the Cup, are actually blackmailing the city authorities to accept their terms by February 28, otherwise «all the construction schedules could be disrupted». Well, naturally, the same students who lack one night to prepare for the session!
It's frustrating to watch this bidding. The Cup is rapidly ceasing to be what it has been for many years - the oldest prize in the world, a place for the best teams and the most advanced technology in yacht construction - and is being transformed into a dull chain of lawsuits with one thing in sight - a bag of money as the prize.
There have been no direct accusations that the Cup controversy was originally designed to get a lease on the San Francisco waterfront, but the first suspicions are beginning to emerge.
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