The signing of development agreements for the 34th America’s Cup on Friday morning confirmed plans to move forward with construction. Mayor Ed Lee celebrated with America’s Cup leaders at Pier 27 that will soon be home to a new spectator amphitheater.
All the preparations are already set in place for the America’s Cup. So what does this new deal mean? The city already has significant plans as to what they will do in preparation for the cup. One of the new ideas that was included in the agreement was the building of a “village” at Pier 27 for the spectators. There would be a new amphitheater that could hold up to 10,000 people along with Pier 27 being the starting line for all the races. It would not be completed until next February just in time for the Louis Vuitton Cup in July 2013. The new “village” would be a worldwide platform that showcases the beauty, innovation and commitment to the city as the renovations will improve the piers and bring needed restoration to the piers.
This will be the first time San Francisco has ever hosted the America’s Cup. Hundreds of thousands of visitors will come to the city to see the races. Along with the tourists from around the world trying to catch a glimpse of the yachts there will be many Bay Area locals coming to the city.
The 34th America’s Cup will be hitting the Bay Area this August with eight teams from around the world. The featured teams come from Italy, Sweden, South Korea, China, New Zealand, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The races taking place in late August will be part of the World Series 2012-2013. The America’s Cup is broken into three different stages: the World Series, the Louis Vuitton Cup and last but not least the main event of the America’s Cup Match Finals. The World Series being the first stage will give spectators a taste of the regatta competition.
[Below is a map of where the “Village” will be located in downtown SF]
The San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development have put together an information packet for the public about the America’s Cup plans. The packet, called the “People Plan”, is updated every few months or so with new information. It details all the projects the city is dealing with to make the America’s Cup run smoothly.
One of the major problems will be public transportation and it’s efficiency. With the multiple factors of transit operating costs, crosswalk work and bicycle parking there are endless things to perfect to be able to handle the large crowds. Will the city be ready for the Cup this August?
“Yes! We are anxious to test all of our plans in August and look forward to seeing the boats racing on the Bay for the first time,” said Communications Director of the 34th America’s Cup Jane Sullivan. “The City has been planning for more than a year, especially around environmental impacts and transportation.”
The overall strategy of the city is to increase the frequency of all public transportation options like BART, MUNI and CalTrain. They want to use existing routes to reduce confusion and create a familiarity with locals and visitors.
Another key strategy needed to reduce confusion will be proper signage. In order to make the city visitor friendly they are relying on maps, public information and signs to direct the crowds and make the areas easily accessible from any of the city’s transit options.
The Clipper Card may increase in use since the city is planning on promoting the service to offer an easier regional-to-local fare card that can be used on any main transit provider.
The “People Plan” is available at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development website owed.org.
In preparation for the America’s Cup big businesses like luxury hotels the Fairmont and the Huntington Hotel each have a different plan of action in mind.
The Fairmont is known for its luxurious destination hotels on almost every continent. This international hotel won an award for the “Best in the World” from Condé Nast Traveler magazine in 2011. “We’re going to rely on our international customer base and our reputation,” explained Public Relations Manager Melissa Farrar of Fairmont’s San Francisco location. “Our expectations are high and we are looking forward to the coming months and what the America’s Cup has to offer our business.”
“We don’t have specific plans to court America’s Cup business as of yet,” said Public Relations Manager Kellie Samson of the Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa. With the event only three months away there is still time to set up a strategy to attract customers and tourists.
For smaller businesses and local shops the tourism is set to bring in a rush of new customers and some extra income. Since the event will be taken place on the waterfront there is an expected surge of business benefiting the northern waterfront districts of Russian Hill, North Beach, Marina and South of Market (SoMa).
“I’m not expecting too much,” said Manager of Polk & Green Produce Market Fady Abed of the America’s Cup expectations. “It’s a big event and it will bring in a lot of business. I just don’t know how much of it will hit my family’s store.”
“For a new business like mine in the popular Russian Hill I have high hopes!” New San Francisco business owner Karen Gioia expects something bigger. Successful in Berkeley’s pizza scene Gioia Pizzeria opened just in time for the busy summer months. “It’s a great time to be in the city with the America’s Cup coming. I’m looking forward to the next year in San Francisco.”
Whether the Cup is bringing in millions of dollars or spreading the word about competitive sailing it is sure to set up the large stage for a spectacular event. San Francisco is a perfect city to bring the ocean mist to thousands of faces and provide the waves and wind for the competing sailors. The stage is set for the America’s Cup and the city is working hard everyday to bring the preparations necessary for completion. The city has not felt such a large rush since the Giants won the World Series in 2010. Will you be ready for the Cup?