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San Francisco Gets 2013 America's Cup

Organizers of the America's Cup sailing regatta on Friday announced plans to hold the 2013 race in San Francisco, allowing billionaire Larry Ellison to defend the cup in the waters near his home.

The decision follows last-minute wrangling earlier this month over the terms of their agreement with the city.

BMW Oracle Racing captured the cup in February, thus winning the right to decide where to hold the next regatta. The team is owned by Mr. Ellison, chief executive of Silicon Valley software giant Oracle Corp., and sponsored by San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club.

"We sought a venue that fulfills our promise–to showcase the best sailors in the world competing on the fastest boats," said Richard Worth, chairman of America's Cup Event Authority. "And hosting the America's Cup in San Francisco will realize that promise."

The city stands to reap a profit of $23.8 million from the event and the waterfront improvements spurred by it, with tax revenue more than making up for the costs of holding the event and improving the waterfront for its sake, according to a December report from the San Francisco Office of Economic Analysis. Organizers said on Friday that other studies have projected that the event will pump $1.4 billion dollars into the San Francisco region.

While negotiating with San Francisco, organizers had considered other cities including Newport, R.I. before deciding on Mr. Ellison's home turf after the city and the organizers were able to agree on terms regarding financing for the event and race organizers' right to develop certain parts of the waterfront.

In December, BMW ended its partnership with Oracle Racing and will no longer be involved in the America's Cup.

The 2013 event will be the first time the America's Cup has been hosted in the U.S. since 1995. Racing in San Francisco Bay is expected to be visible from tourist destinations such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, Crissy Field, the Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf, the Event Authority said.

Gavin Newsom, San Francisco's mayor, applauded the decision. "The strength of San Francisco's bid and the enormous benefits it will provide to the City and to the team are the result of months of hard work, negotiations and overwhelming support from throughout the city and state," he said in a statement.