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America’s Cup Impact Hailed, Assailed

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee hailed the payoff from the America’s Cup, saying the City’s investment brought in revenue and helped showcase the City for the world. Meanwhile his predecessor in the mayor’s office, current California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, added that “economically, we scored as well, with an impact of over $500 million.”

The official America’s Cup organization issued a release trumpeting $550 million and more than 3,800 jobs created as a result of the high-profile sailing event, which ended earlier this fall with a dramatic come-from-way-behind victory by Oracle Team USA. The $550-million figure was also cited by Sean Randolph, president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, who noted that small businesses and other employers benefited from the race activity, with tax revenue boosting area governments.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in December that it had seen draft financial figures indicating the City of San Francisco had to pay $5.5 million for the effort. It also noted that the 700,000 people drawn to the City’s waterfront helped generate “at least $364 million in total economic impact, draft figures from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute reveal. That figure rises to more than $550 million if the long-planned construction of a new cruise ship terminal, which the regatta served as a catalyst to finally get built, is factored in.”

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