"I am very troubled," says Supervisor David Chiu, who ordered the controller's audit. "They are well behind the fundraising requirements put in place to protect the city's costs. It's clear we're not on course."

The Feb. 6 audit revealed the Organizing Committee had about $827,000 in cash, pledges for about $3.2 million payable over the next several years, and an $8 million payment from the America's Cup Event Authority characterized as an advance on future sales to be derived from a revenue-sharing split on sponsorships. Mark Buell, the chairman of the volunteer Organizing Committee, says he's "hopeful" that payments from the Event Authority "will be more than a one-time thing." That would be grand: As Controller Ben Rosenfield tells SF Weekly, "If they don't raise the money, it's on the city."

Chiu states that this must be addressed in the forthcoming negotiations regarding final approval of the America's Cup pact. It's yet another addition to a vast list of numbers that must be crunched, demands that must be answered, and gripes that must be settled before this ship sets sail. And time is running short.

Those about to engage in high-stakes negotiations might also want to know:

• The cost of mitigations to be requested by the National Park Service has yet to be calculated;

• A lawsuit from a group of environmental and neighborhood groups — including Peskin's Telegraph Hill Dwellers — who appealed the project's Environmental Impact Report may be filed by Feb. 24, potentially gumming up the process right when time is of the essence. A lawsuit may be filed regarding the terms of the future development agreement, too;

• An eye-opening suit filed with the New York State Supreme Court by a sailing team called African Diaspora Maritime, spurred by the rejection of its race entry, alleges that Team Ellison's arrangement to extract exclusive use of real-estate in exchange for bringing the race to San Francisco — the very core of the deal — violates the founding deed of the America's Cup.

A hearing on the African Diaspora Maritime case is anticipated this spring; team skipper Charles Kithcart has admitted to the media that some of the money required to engage the prestigious law firm McDermott Will & Emery came from "people who don't like Ellison." Event Authority CEO Stephen Barclay says he's confident the case will be dismissed.

Long prior to that hearing, however, it will be clear which way the deal between the America's Cup and the city is going. In the coming days and weeks any deal-breaking differences will have to be hammered out — or not. Asked if, in the event of the latter, the Event Authority is looking at other cities as a plan B, Barclay's response is instantaneous: "There's always a plan B."


Outside the window of the Ferry Building, tiny white sailboats cut through the waves while hulking cargo ships slowly pass beneath the Bay Bridge, heading toward the Golden Gate, and parts unknown. Inside, the mood is less serene. Nineteen members of the BCDC are present — it's a massive committee — and they're having trouble getting their heads around how evicting Sinbad's restaurant and demolishing the pier upon which it sits is somehow tied to the America's Cup.

Various committee members self-identify as kite-surfers or "a lowly kayaker" — but everyone wants to ensure that the city's recreational boaters have proper access to the waters, even on the days catamarans nearly worth their weight in gold will be racing in the Super Bowl of yachting. The scores of millions of dollars of necessary mitigations for the cruise ship terminal — and the port's uncertainty of how to foot that bill — eventually comes up, too.

Commissioner Tom Bates — who is also Berkeley's mayor — seems to grow weary during marathon discussions of bond measures, infrastructure finance districts, kite-boarding, mitigations, and, finally, temporary 10,000-car parking lots.

Eventually, he blurts out, "I think it's a giant SNAFU" — a military acronym for Situation Normal: All Fucked Up. "The whole thing."

The room erupts in laughter. It remains to be seen how funny Bates' quip will be in the years to come.

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13 comments
supertamsf
supertamsf

I love the graphic of the Japanese great wave woodblock print & boat. Love it.

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Or, it could be that many Occupants are just going to act without warning . ... I would have fun pirating those yachtholes!

dvd
dvd

San Francisco giving away millions to billionaires: they must be laughing their heads off!

Congratulations, really, the America's Cup has been a joke for decades: boring racing between two boats followed by never ending law-suits between the sailing teams. It is mostly an occasion to boast the ego of billionaires. Now it is also a way for the same people to make huge amount of money at our expenses.

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Oh, come on now, it was SenateWhore FineSwine, as Mayorette, who ran amok with the tear down SF and economically cleanse the City . ... no good jobs, no affordable rents, because all she and her minions want is a lot of desperate white young folks ripping each other for sinecure jobs in corporateland who do nothing useful . .. as a tourist destination, this ain't even Disneyworld . .. we lost the 49ers but got this? And putting up buildings where FEMA says is suicide, such as the waterfront, Mission Bay .. I guess they feel that since the next generation will have to pay to deal with this mess we've got, overbuilt on the worst landfill at a time when the ocean is rising . ..let the Public pay for the infrastructure, the sea walls ... private profit, public liability. Too bad no one checked FineSwine for gunshot residue that day. She had to have Harvey out of the way because he never would have stood for what she did. Too bad no one wants to bother with history and its inevitability. Causality is a casualty of modern life.

Pdw
Pdw

If it's any consolation//interest to those concerned about attendance at the America's Cup, here's some info. I'm a sailor who's actively following all the America's Cup action. My wife and I have already made plans to travel to SF for the AC Finals. We're renting a condo for 2 weeks in the city or in Marin. We'll have a rental car (paying taxes on it.) We'll eat in restaurants at least 2-3 times per week, probably more. We'll buy souvenirs (sales tax.) We'll travel to Wine Country (fuel taxes.) Thus, I expect our America's Cup trip will run in the neighborhood of $10,000. Also, it's possible that we'll have another couple joining us, so the numbers could double, just for us.

Multiply that by thousands of visitors for the America's Cup (especially, over a 3 month period) and you'll be getting some SERIOUS influx of $$ to the local economy -- exactly the premise of the ACEA in its negotiations with the City.

I hope that neither side gets greedy in this or gets so dogmatic that there's no flexibility for compromise. If everyone works together for the "greater good" of San Francisco, the America's Cup can be a truly positive influence on the City. I hope my plans for 2013 come to fruition.

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

So, if there are only a few million more like you, but fact is, even if you are telling the truth, it still won't pay for all the damages, esp the collateral damages this mess will create. As for greed, that's been the main motivator in this City and with corporations for decades. Hey, why don't you ask YOUR town to host this mess? Heck, why not give this to Santa Clara and keep the 49ers?

Serenslover
Serenslover

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Guest
Guest

No, NO, No...

Any time they start talking about using General Fund Revenue, you know it is going blow-up big-time!

Let the 1%ers pay the whole bill for this boat race, if they really want it, I think the real grab is Ellison wants the Port real estate...

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

Not only that, but we, the people, will end up paying for the infrastructure and the plain fact is we shouldn't build ANYTHING on that landfill. And when it collapses, it makes evacuation of casualties and egress of rescue workers impossible. Since we dumped the Army and Navy, which WAS our plan for disasters, we've cut back on ALL EMERGENCY SERVICES and what little National Guard we have left are miles away.

pacocornholio
pacocornholio

Then bring in some more races to make the attendance numbers. Don't just give up because the Cup might flop on its own. Put the pedal down and let's have a good event.

njudah
njudah

It's a pity that "Occupy SF" is so posessed with the idea of camp sites in SF at public parks. I suppose if they gave a damn about their whole 99% and would realize that we're literally subsidizing a billionaire for his stupid race with no guarantees about ANYTHING, they might mobilize.

Instead, they're just a pack of hippies smelling up the joint and worried more about where they can cook their s'mores. #epic2012failbytheyouth

Fuckers.

 
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