Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Oracle, has a big decision to make.
Where will the next America’s Cup sailing race be held?
As the winner of last year’s race, through one of the most exciting come-backs in the race’s 162-year history, he gets to choose such things.
Last year’s race was held in the San Francisco Bay not far from Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood City, California. Ellison even scheduled Oracle’s annual customer conference to take place in San Francisco at the same time as the America’s Cup finals. It’s a huge 60,000-attendee trade show.
But there’s a problem. The city of San Francisco’s taxpayers spent $US20.7 million to host the race, San Francisco Chronicle’s John Coté reports, not including more than $US180 million in already planned improvements near the waterfront. And the city wound up $US5.5 million in the red.
The event drew 700,000 people to the city over the course of three months of racing. They spent some $US364 million, according to report released by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
Unfortunately, that was less than the $US902 million projected months before the race, and far less than $US1.4 billion figured originally bandied about in 2010, Coté reports.
So, San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee didn’t offer the same deal to host the next race as the city offered for the last one.
And Ellison’s race team has responded by hinting that he might move the Cup to another locale, like San Diego or Hawaii, near the Hawaiian island that Ellison owns, Lanai, the AP reports.
Meanwhile, some Bay Area bloggers wonder why city’s tax payers need to pay for this race at all. Ellison is As SFist.com’s Jay Barmann writes: “Larry can afford to underwrite the whole thing, and he probably should.”
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