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No more pit row for 34th America's Cup
Team McLube


The Publisher

Oct 2, 2012, 2:01 PM

Post #1 of 3 (9783 views)
No more pit row for 34th America's Cup Log-In to Post/Reply

After seemingly endless negotiations with the City of San Francisco to secure Piers 30-32 so the America's Cup fans could see all the competing teams at one location, it was announced Monday that the teams were no longer required to be based at that location. So much for pit row at the 34th America's Cup.

What happened? "The vision remains to give the fans interaction with the teams," explained Stephen Barclay, CEO of the AC Event Authority. "After observing the fans during the August AC World Series event in San Francisco, we under-estimated the desire for people to watch the races from the Marina Green and the peninsula. The popularity for this viewing area and the hospitality provisions that were provided showed us how 2013 should unfold.

"So we decided to use the budget that was dedicated to hospitality and fan engagement at Piers 30-32, which was going to cost in excess of $1 million, and move it to the Marina Green region. This, by the way, does not affect our commitment to creating an engaging fan experience in the Event Village at Piers 27-29, which is where the stage and big screen viewing area will be.

"The push for this change came from the lack of foot traffic at Piers 30-32 during the August AC World Series event, which is where the AC45s were based. It is our expectation now that people who come to watch the America's Cup will primarily locate either at the Event Village or the Marina Green region. The distance between the Marina Green and Piers 30-32 may have simply been too great, so we are focusing our funds on where the fans want to be."

While these changes may prove beneficial for the fans, at least one team isn't too thrilled with the bait and switch. "I am sitting here completely stunned," said Dean Barker, skipper for Emirates Team New Zealand. "We are a little over 6 months from relocating our base to San Fran to what we have been told would be a fully functioning base area complete with Team hospitality spaces and full access for the public to watch the teams preparing and launching their boats. It is now going to be a concrete slab with absolutely nothing on it which will now require us to secure cranes, jettys, and all services required to function. We have never budgeted for this and to be dropped on us now is quite unbelievable."

Barclay admits this move will adversely affect the Kiwis, who were counting on the facilities at Piers 30-32 to stage an extensive hospitality program, but he clarifies that each team was already responsible for their share of the costs for the launching equipment needed. However, if some teams elect not to base themselves now at Pier 30-32, these costs will proportionately increase.

"I have to say we are a long long way from the vision presented to us back in September 2010," adds Barker. "Larry Ellison has done a lot for this AC and has put a lot of his own financial resource into making the Americas Cup next year a big event. However, I think in terms of a lot of decisions made along the way by different people here we are with only 3 challengers and now no base facility to operate out of. This is a long way from the success of 2007 in Valencia no matter how you package it.

"The catamarans are great but the AC72's are just way too expensive. Not only is the design and build of the new boats extreme, but then you need a small army just to launch and retrieve the boat each day let alone the work to maintain it.There is no question the AC72 racing next year will be spectacular. That is fortunate because the rest of the show looks to be well below expectations."

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

The Publisher

Oct 3, 2012, 4:10 PM

Post #2 of 3 (9265 views)
Re: [The Publisher] No more pit row for 34th America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply



Moving the hospitality from Piers 30/32 to Marina is a very positive action. It puts the fans first. And it has been welcomed by the City and our partners.

The America’s Cup World Series in August was effectively a test event for the host city ahead of the 2013 America’s Cup.
Its success was universally applauded by the teams. We have applied some of the lessons learnt.

The choice to move some elements from Piers 30/32 was driven directly by the success of August regatta and by asking the question: “how do we deliver the best possible fan experience?”

We are focusing the activities where the fans want to be.

Yes, there has been criticism of this initiative by Emirates Team New Zealand but a more fan-focused and fan-friendly event is to everyone’s benefit.

There will be new facilities on the Peninsula and Marina Green like the AC World Series. There will be the America’s Cup Village at Piers 27/29, which is taking shape with the Team and the Puma stores already open and an AC45 on display.

And there will still be team activity at Piers 30/32 with teams continuing to have the option to base themselves there if they want to.

The Publisher

Oct 3, 2012, 4:11 PM

Post #3 of 3 (9263 views)
Re: [The Publisher] No more pit row for 34th America's Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

October 2, 2012

Emirates Team New Zealand says the America’s Cup event organizer’s decision to abandon development of a team hub on the San Francisco waterfront is irresponsible and another let-down for San Francisco. It ignores the America’s Cup conditions of entry under which all teams are contractually bound to exclusively conduct their operations from team bases provided by the event organisers in an America’s Cup village.

Managing director Grant Dalton said: “The original vision of locating all team bases on Piers 30 and 32 along with all the facilities required to operate the AC72s, will not be fulfilled.”

“A site plan showing team bases and the facilities has been in circulation for months and, as recently as the last regatta at San Francisco, event organisers promised to provide hospitality facilities. Negotiations have got as far as allocating base areas to individual teams.

“Teams have been planning their operations in San Francisco next year on the strength of these promises.

“To hear yesterday that those plans have been abandoned six months from when the teams would move to San Francisco is scandalous. Oracle, which has a permanent base on city limits, will not be adversely affected."

“Two teams in particular – Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa – will be disadvantaged,” he said

The decision potentially denies the people of San Francisco and visitors to the city an opportunity to see all the teams close up. Just as with motor racing, people like to visit the pits. With the Swedish team wanting to be based at Alameda and Oracle a long way to the south and out of reach to the public, the city and port authority may not realize expected financial returns that have been widely publicised by the organisers.

“Our team has experienced nothing but goodwill and warmth from the people and authorities in San Francisco and we feel acute embarrassment at this turn of events. We hope authorities are able to step in and hold organizers accountable for this further retreat which is symptomatic of a continuing pattern."

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