In the aftermath of yesterday's historic and showy win for Oracle Team USA, everyone in the local media is generally doing a mea culpa and saying, "OK, Larry. Good show." Yes, this thing cost a bunch of money, but, as it happens, it did draw a big crowd at the end and didn't cost the city as much as people feared.

As Phil Matier acknowledges, Larry did put a lot on the line for this Cup, just in terms of his own money and reputation, and with this week being the big Oracle World conference he could have just as easily been embarrassed by the whole thing. (Unless, as the conspiracy theorists would have it, the Kiwis were just paid off to throw the last seven races. But would they do that with their nation's pride?)

Even if the big yachting extravaganza was not the $1.4 billion boon it was originally touted to be, it's certainly been some benefit to the city, with a huge group of well-to-do New Zealanders shelling out a ton of money over the last month as they passed through town — ABC 7 talks to one guy who said he'd spent $10,000 here so far, and race organizers referred to one team, probably NZ, who'd spent $1.5 million on hotel rooms alone. And the fact that the races went on a week longer than it looked like they would (and four days beyond the scheduled September 21 close), had to be economically beneficial as well.

And because the number of teams was smaller, and the overall crowd smaller than projected, the cost of policing, traffic control, etc., is less than projected. After private fundraising, it's looking like the city's share will be about $3 million.

San Francisco now has to enter into negotiations with the Cup authority, and Larry, over becoming the host city for the Cup again in 2017. Larry will only say, "I'd love to come back to San Francisco" but "it's going to be a group decision." He faced a lot of friction with city officials and the Cup authority, but it may end up being sailors' superstition that drives him to return here to win again.

[ABC 7]
[Business Times]