San Francisco was chosen Friday to host the next America’s Cup in 2013, heralding a potential renaissance in competitive sailing and a boon of more than $1 billion to the local economy.
The city beat out Newport, R.I., and Italy to host sailing’s premier regatta, an international sporting event whose projected economic benefit is eclipsed only by the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup.
San Francisco had been the early front-runner to host the 34th Cup after billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison‘s team captured the trophy in February off the coast of Valencia, Spain. The team, Oracle Racing, is sponsored by San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, and the winning syndicate selects where it will defend the Cup.
Part of the attraction for race organizers is San Francisco’s unique position to grow the sport of sailing.
Rather than holding the races miles offshore, which was the case in Valencia, San Francisco Bay offers a natural amphitheater. Spectators in high-rises, along Crissy Field, on Angel Island and in the Marin Headlands will be able to view the action.