When San Francisco was chosen as the host city for the 2013 America's Cup, many locals were thrilled at the prospect of holding a major sporting event within our borders. What an amazing opportunity for our little land to be showcased front and center on the international stage! And think of the tourism revenue!
But twelve months into the endeavor, many have begun to think of the magical opportunity as one big boondoggle. Myriad environmental advocacy organizations have expressed concern about the impact of the event on our natural resources, it's uncertain whether the city will be able to raise the funding in time, and only a handful of teams have even signed up to participate. To make matters worse, last week, Mayor Ed Lee announced that waterfront redevelopment plans will be dramatically scaled back, prompting a cacophony of reaction from both supporters and opponents.
Because of all the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming sailing extravaganza, we can think of no better topic of conversation to launch our HuffPost SF "Room for Debate" series with. Will the America's Cup be the tourism boon San Francisco needs? Or will it be a financial and environmental nightmare?
To spark the discussion, we've called on two local experts to weigh in. Richard Worth, chairman of the America's Cup Event Authority, supports the race all the way to the finish line. Mark Welther, executive director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, believes the city still has a long way to go before all the hurdles are cleared.
What do you think? Join our debate below to add your voice to the conversation!