Early word: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Budget and Finance Committee has approved a revised city offer to host the America's Cup. The package will go before the full Board of Supervisors tomorrow.
The deal approved today would shift the focus of the America's Cup 2013 activities from around Pier 50, south of AT&T Park, to sites at the foot of the Bay Bridge and just below Telegraph Hill. The shift was prompted by the high cost of relocating more than 80 tenants from the Pier 50 neighborhood and by questions over granting the America's Cup backers long-term development rights on the waterfront.
Reports over the weekend said that the BMW-Oracle Racing Team, the Cup defenders who have the right to choose the venue for the 2013 competition, has issued an ultimatum to the city to approve the original package by December 31 or risk losing the Cup altogether. The threat came from Stephen Barclay, the team's chief operating officer, who suggested that an alternate site was in play.
That alternate site is Newport, Rhode Island—home of the America's Cup for more than a century before an Australian team won it in 1983. Rhode Island officials were quoted today as saying they planned to discuss a Cup bid this week with the Golden Gate Yacht Club, BMW-Oracle's sponsoring organization.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said during the Budget and Finance Committee meeting today he had talked to officials in Newport and confirmed that officials there had already been in contact with the race organizers. Mikarimi was one of those who pushed for the three-member panel to back the proposal to stage the event on the central and northern waterfront.