San Diego port commissioners said they want to host the next America’s Cup yacht races, and directed the staff of the Port of San Diego to present a bid on the event scheduled for 2017.
Should San Diego win the hosting rights, it would be the city’s fourth America’s Cup. It hosted the event in 1988, 1992, and 1995, with all the competitions held in the Pacific Ocean near Point Loma.
The upcoming event is a defense of the cup won last year by a catamaran owned by Larry Ellison, the Bay Area billionaire and chairman of Oracle Inc. In that series, Ellison’s Oracle Team USA’s boat came from far behind to beat a boat from New Zealand.
The entity organizing the upcoming competition, the America’s Cup Event Authority, contacted the port district last month, saying it was considering having the races in San Diego, and requested the port district to submit a bid package. The organization has also contacted four other potential sites.
ACEA asked that it be allowed to use the port’s facilities on the bay including the Broadway Pier and the B Street Pier, for four to 12 weeks at free rent, according to a port commission report.
Not only will hosting the event solidify San Diego’s reputation as a world-class sailing race venue, it will generate “economic benefit as well as worldwide publicity for the region that results in economic benefit for the district, tenants and businesses,” said a port report.
A resolution supporting the effort passed unanimously.
San Diego Bay was the site for two similar sailing competitions involving super-fast catamarans in 2010 and 2011, with generally positive responses from both yacht teams and the general public, according to Chuck Nichols, chairman of Sailing Events Association San Diego.