BMW Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate YC announced today that San Francisco Bay is the only American venue under consideration to host the 34th match for the America’s Cup. The announcement followed on the heels of comments by team CEO Russell Coutts who has been quoted as saying that San Diego had removed itself from consideration with hope of getting one of the preliminary regattas as outlined in the draft protocol released last month. Interestingly, the team indicated that the proposal would allow the City to go forward with plans to develop an area "south of the Bay Bridge" for infrastructure. The team released the following statement today:
"San Francisco has put forward a strong, well-rounded venue proposal, and is now the only city in the USA under consideration to host the 34th America’s Cup match. . . scheduled for 2013 or 2014, the year to be determined by infrastructure development lead-times.
"’Our team has said from the outset that San Francisco and the Bay Area have the potential to provide a superb stage on which to host a memorable America’s Cup,” commented Russell Coutts. ‘Our team owner, Larry Ellison, has called the Bay ‘a fantastic natural amphitheatre.’
"In being granted status as the sole venue candidate in the USA, San Francisco can forge ahead with plans to provide the necessary facilities for the America’s Cup along the City’s waterfront, south of the Bay Bridge. It also now allows San Francisco to ‘nationalize’ their efforts and to seek support from the State of California and the Federal Government.
"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said, ‘We are very honored to lead a national effort to host the 34th America’s Cup. Larry Ellison has a transformative vision for hosting the Cup on San Francisco Bay, and we are prepared to leverage the nation’s support to make this a coast-to-coast campaign and to realize that vision.’
"Other U.S. cities have been excited by the prospect of hosting the America’s Cup match, notably Newport, Rhode Island, where Cup racing was held from 1930 through 1983, San Diego, CA, which hosted Cup defenses in 1988, 1992 and 1995, and Long Beach, CA, site of the 1984 Olympic yachting regatta and the annual Congressional Cup.
"Coutts said, ‘We are extremely grateful to the other American candidates. Their disappointment is understandable as each would have been a great host city in its own right. And we appreciate their offers of support to San Francisco going forward.’
"Strong expressions of interest from four European countries are also being studied by the American Defender. GGYC/BOR will announce a final decision on the venue, along with the date and other details of the next America’s Cup by the end of this year.
"The America’s Cup has been defended only twice outside of the holder’s home waters in its 159-year history – in Valencia, Spain in ’07 and ’10."