America's Cup: Showdown Set for Today
The supes will, for a second time, discuss the evolving America's Cup deal. The development agreement for the Cup is due for an up or down vote by the entire board on Feb. 28. A yea vote commits San Francisco to a deal with a price tag that has more than doubled in the past two years -- for which it could be reimbursing Larry Ellison's America's Cup Event Authority into the 22nd century. A nay vote would essentially bid the Cup adieu.
Sources on the board tell SF Weekly that the sides are still "quite a bit" apart. The key issues remain the ones outlined in our Feb. 15 cover story:
The supervisors are loath to offer up the choice Pier 29 as a site for the Event Authority to cash in its millions in rent credits and take up residence for generations to come;
- The supes desire a portion of the rent from future businesses on the land that the port might give to the Event Authority. The Event Authority, naturally, does not wish to forfeit this future revenue;
- The supes also want a cut from future condo sales on that land. The Event Authority, we are told, is not yet willing to concede this on the first condo sale.
The truncated timeline promises a hectic conclusion to the month of February. Event Authority Chief Operating Officer Stephen Barclay's negotiating acumen is well-established. Whether anyone on the Board of Supervisors is willing to play that kind of hardball -- at risk of losing the Cup -- remains to be seen.
"From a business standpoint, the city is not going to let someone walk all over it," says Supervisor David Campos. "We are going to make sure we get a fair deal."
Easier said than done. Both the saying and the doing pick up speed today.