America's Cup: John Avalos Says "All the Members of the Board of Supervisors Were F**king Played"

Categories: America's Cup
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Can't fucking believe it
News broke over the weekend that the America's Cup Organizing Committee, a private group tasked with fundraising to offset the race's public costs, is struggling mightily. Logically, public money not offset by private funds is simply public money expended -- in this case on a yacht race thrown by one of the world's wealthiest men.

Of course, as we noted earlier this week, this was the precise scenario warned of, repeatedly, by numerous budget-minded city officials not cheerleading the race. We noted this last year. We noted this three years ago. There's been no shortage of noting.

Now Supervisor John Avalos wants a hearing into how this circumstance, foretold repeatedly by the city's bean-counters and America's Cup contrarians, could have come to pass. And he's angry.

See Also: Losing Millions on the America's Cup Was Foreseen

As noted this week, last year, the year before, and the year before that, the private fundraisers are contractually obliged only to "endeavor" to raise their $32 million goal. They are, supposedly, $18 million short of that -- but it's hard to say they haven't "endeavored" to do better. It's the thought that counts here, literally. But the city still makes up the difference.
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"I've shouted publicly to the rooftops how ashamed I am that I see that language" -- the "endeavor" line -- "and not reading into what it said. I was fucking played. All the members of the Board of Supervisors were fucking played," Avalos says. "There was a full-court press on us from the America's Cup Organizing Committee to play us. Gavin Newsom, David Chiu, Ross Mirkarimi -- everyone was exuberant and this is what we get. I am totally fucking ashamed."

Avalos says he'd love to explore "any possibility we have to not put on the America's Cup" but concedes that the city is all but certainly contractually locked in by this point (the city must do better than "endeavor" to host the Cup). As far as extracting more funds from the ACOC, the supervisor says all he can do is "just keep pushing on them. I assume they will live up to their pledge."

ACOC members have certainly indicated they would do so, repeatedly, through the years. In a recent letter to the supes by Telegraph Hill Dwellers President Jon Golinger, he kindly aggregated a smattering of affirmations:

One can only wonder what amazing quotes will be generated during Avalos' forthcoming command performance.

My Voice Nation Help

Mr Avalos,

I'm sure the city can recoup the money, they just need to be as legally creative as the ACOC. For example the city may be obliged to host the cup, but is there language that states the city cannot impose a speed limit on the boats and levy million dollar fines every time it is exceeded? I'm sure a good lawyer can have a field day with this and if the prospect is that the cup will be stalled in an endless legal tangle, I'm certain that Larry Ellison will magically come through with the money!


Of course, John Avalos said this when interviewed about his candidacy for office:

How well do you think the deal for America's Cup was negotiated by the city? Is there anything you would have done differently as mayor?
As Chair of the Budget Committee last year, I fought to minimize the impact to our general fund. I am proud of the results.

So, basically, if Avalos was played, he *really* screwed things up, since he was one of the key players!

sebraleaves topcommenter

Maybe the city should save a little money by foregoing the $5 million dollar bridge opening party instead of closing it for two days. When does the spending stop? SFMTA has the nerve to go to the voters and ask for another half a billion (that's what 500 million is.) dollars for bicycle paths when they can't expand the Muni system because Muni is broke. Who spiked the kool-aid?

mblaircheney topcommenter

As I wrote in response to another article, by Mr. Eskenazi, taking shot's at how bad the City is doing by hosting this historic America's Cup... 'The Fat Lady' hasn't sung yet. San Francisco in all it's glory will be on video screens all over the planet as the races take place... a live post card inviting all to pleasures to be had in the Bay Area. Rent that much time, at going advertising rates, to showcase San Francisco... like Countries and Cities due to promote tourism. America's Cup with us as 'product placement'. Beats the hell out of the Bay to Breakers or the latest nudist frightening small children... The World Series and NFL Announcers wax poetic as they describe the small snippets of San Francisco video in between the action on the field... Hell the field of America's Cup is San Francisco...  


he is perfectly willing to be played by the far left to build an ever expanding permanent welfare state

njudah topcommenter

Avalos was not "played"  there were plenty of warnings, he chose instead to play politics and run for Mayor instead of pay attention at his day job.

Shane OssaMain
Shane OssaMain

What about Lawrence Joseph Ellison? there is so much money in this "sport" you'd think we could get that 14mil somehow. also, can we see exactly what this 32mil is for? how much of that is profit margins for the organizers and other people looking to make money on this white collar event?


How the city didn't write into the contract that if certain fundraising wasn't achieved the a) city would not be responsible and b) the event could be cancelled is fauken beyond me.

mrericsir topcommenter

If the supervisors had spent less time rolling their eyes at Chris Daly and actually listened to the guy, we wouldn't have gotten into this situation in the first place.

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