A report from well connected US correspondent, Bernie Wilson, appearing in The Associated Press indicates that America's Cup officials have reduced the prospective venues for the next regatta from four to three, and it appears San Francisco has been eliminated.
According to the report, Oracle Team USA CEO Russell Coutts has determined that one of the four venues under consideration that one venue has been eliminated, and that he plans eliminate another venue by the end of June.
The negotiators for Oracle Team USA are believed to have met their counterparts from San Francisco on Friday. No announcement was made after that meeting.
Coutts would not tell Wilson which venue had been eliminated, and San Francisco City officials would not comment either.
However San Diego officials did confirm that they had received a letter from America's Cup Events Authority saying that they had advanced to the next level of consideration, and that the field had been reduced to three venues.
San Francisco was given a deadline of December 31, 2013 to make their best offer, which they delivered on December 23, 2013.
The Response was along the same lines as for the previous America's Cup, with wharf space in central San Francisco. Last time the City did not pay a venue fee, and in fact expected the America's Cup organisers to cover all the City's costs of staging the event. That was not done and the City was $5million out of pocket - a tab that most Cities around the would would gladly picked up and more.
San Diego is believed to be the front runner of the three contenders left in the race, with Chicago and Bermuda the other two cities in contention.
Under the just announced Protocol, America's Cup Events Authority, the event management arm of Golden Gate Yacht Club/Oracle Team USA have grabbed all the commercial rights to the event. Under the Deed of Gift which governs the America's Cup, the Defender are able to nominate the venue for the Cup.
However with the consent of the Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, that has been extended to include determining the venue for the Challenger Selection Series. If there are more than four entries in that series, then ACEA will select a second venue for the Challenger series to be conducted, possibly outside of USA, and will pocket all venue fees associated with that choice.
Additionally the teams will be expected to pay the costs of Regatta Officials for all events in the 35th America's Cup and America's Cup World Series, but unlike the 2007 America's Cup there is no distribution of any surplus from the event fees and television rights back to the competing teams.
Both the signatories to the protocol for the 35th America's Cup are on record as saying that commercial considerations are driving the key decisions for the next America's Cup.
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