America’s Cup has its perks: 700,000 visitors to the city of San Francisco, money being put into the local economy, international media coverage and some good old-fashioned patriotism surrounding a prestigious sport like the regatta (up there with the likes of the Olympics and the World Cup). The downside to competitive sailing?
The cost to host such an event, including adding improvements to the waterfront infrastructure, left San Francisco taxpayers with a deficit of $5.5 million. Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement, the Cup “showcased our beautiful city to the world and brought thousands of new jobs, long-overdue legacy waterfront improvements, international visitor spending and a boost to our regional economy.”
But not everyone is a supporter. “A $5.5 million deficit, all for a yacht race for billionaires,” Supervisor John Avalos told the San Francisco Chronicle. Avalos maintained that the money could have been better spent elsewhere to improve city services.
Mayor Lee has until December 22 to propose a preliminary proposal to host the next Cup. What do you think? Is hosting competitive sailing an investment or a liability for our city?