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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."