September 4, 2010
The Pitch To Sail The America’s Cup Into San Francisco's Bay
San Francisco’s pitch to bring the next America’s Cup to The Bay includes providing the "free [use of] land and future development rights on the property in exchange for the America's Cup event authority paying $100 million to $150 million to shore up the piers, dredge the area around them, and install new breakwaters and utility lines."
At the center of it all, a proposed amphitheater at Piers 30-32 designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to be covered by "a tensile net structure evocative of a sail that would allow diffuse light through but provide shelter from rain, wind and direct sun."
The plan will soon be presented to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors for approval with City officials pledging to have the facilities ready for racing by the end of 2012.
∙ San Francisco's plan for hosting America's Cup [SFGate]
∙ Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) [som.com]
∙ SocketSite Weekend Special: One Proposal For San Francisco SWL 337 [SocketSite]
∙ From Piers To Park And The Brannan Street Wharf By 2012 [SocketSite]
First Published: September 4, 2010 2:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I thought it was $200 mil just to retorfit pier 30-32?
[Editor’s Note: You might have in mind the 2007 estimate of $150 million to develop two 1,000-foot piers to support a new cruise ship terminal at Piers 30-32, a proposal which was subsequently sunk.]
Posted by: Paul Hwang at September 4, 2010 3:02 PM
Can anybody familiar with the Cup handicap the possibility of this actually happening? It would be great for San Francisco but is it even within the realm of possibilities or is it one of Larry's plays to extract the most out of the two other competing cities?
If it does happen can I hear a second for making the Pier 30-32 amphitheater a permanent venue rather than temporary?
Posted by: Michael at September 4, 2010 6:52 PM
An amphitheatre would be nice there .... as long as they could keep the sound levels controlled so that nearby residents aren't giving up their peace and quiet at home in the process, I'd be all for it personally. :)
Posted by: jamie at September 4, 2010 9:14 PM
Wow, what an exciting boost for the local economy and a memorable event for us all. Super psyched!
Posted by: jeff schlarb at September 4, 2010 10:47 PM
San Diego is already well ahead in this type of planning. It will be interesting to see which city wins since San Diego is a much larger city with deeper pockets and a strong will to keep its connection with the America's Cup.
Posted by: justin at September 5, 2010 5:12 AM
Newport, Rhode Island is the third competing city (and the original "home" of the cup before it went to Australia) and they're not able to make nearly as monied a pitch, but they and San Diego both have a better natural setup for the cup itself. I've heard from people in the sailing community that an America's Cup in the Bay just wouldn't work.
Posted by: Jason at September 5, 2010 6:53 AM
I'll second Michael's motion to make the amphitheater a permanent structure if it actually gets built. It would be a great venue for special events, performances and concerts. But ready by 2012? Wouldn't one environmental appeal blow that timeline right out of the water?
Posted by: Anna at September 5, 2010 7:53 AM
Another argument for San Diego or Newport is that, in SF, Critical Mass will disrupt the race unless there are dedicated canoe lanes.
Posted by: Conifer at September 5, 2010 8:30 AM
I like how in the rendering Treasure Island already has high rises built. Is that the artist's musing on the likelihood of this structure being built?
Posted by: anon at September 5, 2010 10:52 AM
I bet if you got the angle right, you could get the wind to funnel down the throat of the amphitheater, grabbing random folks from their seats, zinging them over the stage and out the back of the structure out into the bay where the same flotilla that picks up baseballs could do rescue work.
Another "only in SF" experience.
Posted by: BobN at September 5, 2010 3:31 PM
San Francisco is now the sole U.S. contender for the America's Cup.
Posted by: Marten at September 5, 2010 11:27 PM
This is certainly a real possibility. In the past Mr. Onorato (the challenger) has brought his team out to race in the Big Boat Series so he knows what it's like, as does Mr. Ellison.
Sailors are generally excited - SF is world renowned in the racing community for its hairy afternoon breeze and currents. You should see how many events take place in less than 10kts of wind (yawn). The current rumor is to hold it in 70ft lightweight catamarans which could be very telegenic - though the bay might be too small for them.
The estimate to renovate Piers 30-32 was $50M - $75M which would be significant but doable for the 10-12 syndicates expected if the AC comes to SF.
Posted by: ellbee at September 7, 2010 1:51 PM
"We're very excited and hopeful," said Jamie XXXXX, president of the nearby Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association. "The piers are falling into the bay, and the South of Market waterfront neighbors see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get their piers fixed."
looks like Socketsite has a celebrity. bravo.
having this in SF would certainly really add to the waterfront. I have no idea if it is economically wise for SF to offer the package that it is offering or not since I know almost nothing about America's cup. I've certainly never watched it nor do I know the financials of it. but it sounds cool, doesn't it?
Posted by: ex SF-er at September 29, 2010 7:26 AM
I keep trying to see Red's Java House in that rendering. Seems to be missing.
Posted by: Jimat1fed at October 23, 2010 10:52 AM
Here it comes. The most revolutionary event in the history of the San Francisco waterfront.
It may actually out do the importance of the first sailing ships to land in San Francisco in the 1840's.
The international exposure to our City that this "Green" (both environmental & $$$) event may last for decades. The winner of the AC34 will get to host the AC35, etc.
Already new Countries, yesterday Sweden (Nov 9, 2010), are announcing their participation.
The excitement of the new 72 foot long cataraman’s as the boat to be raced has caught the attention of the sailing world.
The re-vitalization of the piers & waterfront, when the City nor Port has funds or the motivation to do so is immense.
If the GGYC and Mr. Ellison picks San Francisco prepare to "Party"!!
Posted by: Frederick at November 11, 2010 12:20 PM