San Francisco supes OK staging deal
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facing a Friday deadline for a completed deal, San Francisco officials on Tuesday approved an agreement needed to keep alive their bid to host the 2013 America's Cup.
The Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 to adopt a Host City Agreement that included changes sought by America's Cup organizers, who say they would have taken on too much of a financial burden.
Mayor Gavin Newsom signed the resolution a few hours later.
However, America's Cup officials had yet to review the document.
"This resolution now enables the city to be on track to provide us with a signed agreement by Friday," Stephen Barclay, an official with the Golden Gate Yacht Club and America's Cup champion BMW Oracle Racing, said in a statement.
"We also appreciated the opportunity to work with the city and port officials prior to today's vote and will now closely review the agreement changes that went before the board," Barclay's statement continued.
"We've seen good progress, so now we will study the details. We continue to be focused on our responsibility to secure an agreement that enables us to run a world-class event whilst ensuring the America's Cup Event Authority is not put at financial risk."
The agreement would allow organizers to use several piers north of the Bay Bridge to stage the competition for the oldest trophy in international sports.
Barclay told The Associated Press on Saturday that he considered San Francisco to have come up with the winning bid in early November, when city officials and the yacht club negotiated an agreement that was then sent to the Board of Supervisors to begin the approval process.
But he said the Port Commission recently changed key points in the agreement that would put too much of a financial risk on the America's Cup Event Authority, which has been contracted by the GGYC to run the regatta.
City officials said Tuesday that the changes in the agreement strengthen organizers' guarantees and reduce risks.
Barclay said the GGYC -- which sponsors BMW Oracle Racing -- set the Friday deadline because the America's Cup Event Authority is committed to informing participating teams of the venue choice by Dec. 31.
The GGYC also is negotiating with Newport, R.I., and Italy for the right to host the competition.
"With this agreement, San Francisco stands united and committed to delivering the best America's Cup experience in history, right here in the natural amphitheater of San Francisco Bay," Newsom said in a statement. "Over these last several months, we have improved our bid through often-tough questions and negotiations, and today I truly believe we offer the team a partnership and an opportunity for the America's Cup unmatched anywhere in the world.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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