San Francisco officially out of America’s Cup running

Published on June 11th, 2014

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee got an unwelcome letter late Tuesday night: As rumored, the city was ruled out of hosting the 2017 America’s Cup sailing races.

Russell Coutts, director of the America’s Cup Event Authority, e-mailed the mayor confirming news reports that San Francisco hadn’t made the shortlist to host the 35th sailing regatta. San Diego, Chicago and Bermuda are still in the running.

“Given the tight timeline and demands from prospective teams to confirm the final venue, it has been necessary to continue reducing the shortlist of candidate cities,” Coutts wrote. “We have therefore taken the difficult decision to no longer consider San Francisco as a possible candidate to host AC35.”

The letter gives no explanation, but Lee has been adamant that the city not use general fund money to host the event after losing $11.5 million in city funds on the sailing races last year. In addition, the mayor wanted the race organizers to pay rent on the piers and to pay prevailing union wages for construction projects. Those demands seemed to be a no-go with Coutts and Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. As last year’s winner, Ellison gets to make the ultimate decision on the host city.

Coutts in his letter said that the race organizers would be open to discussing hosting the 36th event in San Francisco – probably in 2021 or thereabouts.

Heather Knight of the San Francisco Chronicle reports more.

More: Russell Coutts informed the three remaining finalists – San Diego, Chicago and Bermuda – that the field will be reduced to two cities by the end of June. The selection of the City to host the 35th America’s Cup will be made no later than December 31, 2014.

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