Chicago In Running To Host America’s Cup
The world’s most famous sailboat race could be coming to Lake Michigan over the next few years.
The America’s Cup Event Authority and 2013 America’s Cup winner Oracle Team USA are targeting Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Bermuda as potential host sites for the 2017 America’s Cup Finals, according to a BBC report.
A final decision is due by the end of the year on which city will host the event, Oracle Team USA chief executive Russell Coutts told the publication.
His team, owned by billionaire Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, gets to determine the rules and site of the next America’s Cup match.
I’m also told by a source close to the host site selection process that Chicago’s lakefront is also being considered as a host site for preliminary America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 and 2016.
Those events would be much smaller than the roughly month-long America’s Cup Finals match, which includes nearly two weeks of racing, but would still put the international sailing spotlight on Chicago for 10 day events with three to four days of racing.
A FRESHWATER FIRST?
Teams from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia and Italy, among others, often compete in the sailing competitions. Lake Michigan would be the first freshwater venue in the Cup’s 163-year history.
The 2013 race was held in San Francisco Bay and drew criticism over the city putting up $20 million to build infrastructure to host the event. Newport, Rhode Island, San Diego, California and New York City have also hosted the event.
Chicago Sports Commission Interim Executive Director Kara Bachman declined to comment on reports of Chicago as a potential host site for any of the America’s Cup events.
The Sports Commission helped promote last summer’s Chicago Match Cup, which was the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, the world’s top pro sailing series.
Winning any or all of the America’s Cup events over the next three years would be a boost to the city’s international tourism goals, as most of the sport’s fans and sponsors are overseas.
Chicago is hosting three other international sporting events this month, including this week’s International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) matches between the U.S. and Serbian national teams at UIC Pavilion and FIVB games between the American. and Bulgarian national teams in Hoffman Estates on June 20 and 21.
The International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series will also hold its World Series race in Grant Park and around downtown lakefront areas June 27-29. The Commission said last year the event is expected to draw 6,000 visitors from outside the city.
Source : Crains.com
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