It's getting closer to the moment where Larry Ellison cuts another deal with San Francisco for the next America's Cup. But he knows he won't get the sweetheart deal he got the first time so he's just putting it out there that they're also looking at San Diego and Hawaii as possible venues.
This news was leaked to the AP, and then Phil Matier posted it here on CBS 5's site. It seems like a transparent negotiating tactic, not wanting to start the ball rolling with San Francisco without making them think he's got other options. But really? Would Larry honestly want to have the race in San Diego when he could do it again right here in his hometown and hold up that trophy again with Alcatraz in the background?
San Diego hosted the Cup in 1988, and again '92 and '95, and Hawaii would have the advantage of being near Ellison's new island he purchased all of Lanai a couple years back. Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts tells the AP he's "not happy" with how negotiations have gone with San Francisco.
The America's Cup was a success, at least on some level, but a lot of people are still quick to complain about how much it cost the city, etc. It's safe to say that the benefits at least balanced the costs, so long as you watched a little bit of it and saw San Francisco take the stage in an exciting, internationally watched sailing show. If you don't give a crap about sailing and are generally annoyed by tourism and still disagree that city dollars should have been spent on the thing at all, then we're probably never going to agree on this.
Anyway, Larry can afford to underwrite the whole thing, and he probably should. Also, he still has longterm development rights to Piers 30-32, care of the previous America's Cup deal, and the infrastructure for another race is already built on Pier 27. But we'll see how this all plays out.