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Port Supports Bid to Host America's Cup in 2017 and Olympics in 2024

San Diego Port staff said the America's Cup Event Authority notified the port last month that it was interested in San Diego as a host site. The selection could be made this summer.

America's Cup action in San Francisco. Photo credit: @icupusa.com John Eric Mangino.
America's Cup action in San Francisco. Photo credit: @icupusa.com John Eric Mangino.

The Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to support local bids to host the America's Cup in 2017 and Olympics in 2024.

The board also directed staff to develop a response to a "request for information" from the organizers of America's Cup 35 and begin assessing the costs and benefits of hosting yachting's premiere race event.

"The (Port) District supports the America's Cup as part of its goal to activate the waterfront around San Diego Bay, providing economic benefit to district tenant businesses and enjoyment to spectators," a resolution passed by the commissioners reads.

The resolution points out that the races would provide close-up views for thousands of spectators expected to flock to the waterfront. Unlike when San Diego hosted the races in the ocean off Point Loma in 1988, 1992 and 1995, the 2017 regatta would take place within the confines of San Diego Bay.

According to news reports, Oracle Team USA, the 2013 champion, wants to hold the event on San Francisco Bay again.

However, a port staff report said the America's Cup Event Authority notified the port last month that it was interested in San Diego as a host site. The selection could be made this summer, according to the authority.

For the Olympics, the port commissioners noted the region has a "rich history" of hosting major sporting events, such as Super Bowls, baseball's World Series and the U.S. Open golf tournament, along with the America's Cup.

"The San Diego region's culture, location, sporting history, innovative economy, climate and infrastructure are key selling points for San Diego's bid," the port's resolution says.

Several U.S. cities have expressed interest in bidding for the Olympics in 10 years. The U.S. Olympic Committee is expected to narrow down prospective American hosts to three in April.

The San Diego 2024 Exploratory Committee contends that the region already has more than 80 percent of the necessary facilities, along with thousands of hotel rooms and planned transportation improvements.

Leaders in San Diego's sporting community have long talked about hosting the Olympics, but the effort was given a shot in the arm last year when ex- Mayor Bob Filner proposed holding the games jointly with Tijuana. The exploratory committee was formed but the mega-region idea went afoul of USOC rules.

—City News Service

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