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State Assembly bill would help Oracle, San Francisco bring next America's Cup event here

By winning last race, BMW Oracle Racing team can choose next site

State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) is authoring a bill to provide financing powers to the Port of San Francisco to develop part of the city's waterfront in its bid to host the next America's Cup.

The move, announced yesterday, comes as the BMW Oracle Racing team, championed by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, whose company has major operations in Pleasanton's Hacienda Business Park, works with the San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club to make San Francisco the site of the next race in spring 2013.

Ellison's team won the last America's Cup in Spain in February on behalf of San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club, giving the club and the team the right to choose the site of the next race.

On Wednesday, the city submitted a formal framework for the terms of the event.

"We believe there's no better place on earth than San Francisco Bay to defend the America's Cup and bring millions of new fans from around the world to the oldest international sailing competition," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said.

To help improve San Francisco's chances, Ammiano authored AB 1706, which would allow the Port of San Francisco to create an infrastructure financing district so it could develop and improve the areas that would be used heavily during the race.

Piers 30-32, Pier 50 and Seawall Lot 351, the areas targeted by the bill would allow the city to reallocate money for that purpose, Ammiano spokesman Quintin Mecke said.

Mecke said the bill gives San Francisco more financial flexibility, which is necessary "given the scope of the cost" of the project.

"The mayor's office is leading the local effort, and statewide, we're working to make sure any state legislation required for this is handled," Mecke said.

The bill has widespread bipartisan support, including from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and could be voted on as early as next week if the Legislature convenes for a vote on the state budget, according to Ammiano's office.

"The America's Cup represents a historic opportunity to showcase all that San Francisco and the Bay Area have to offer while at the same time developing the city's waterfront into a destination for generations to come," Ammiano said in a statement.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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