The thrilling comeback by Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup capped an historic event that generated $550 million in economic activity, created more than 3,800 jobs and contributed almost $6.6 million in tax revenue to the City of San Francisco, according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
These figures include a new cruise terminal whose construction was accelerated by the America’s Cup races in San Francisco. In the absence of a new cruise terminal, conservative estimates show that the America’s Cup generated $364 million in economic activity, created almost 2,900 jobs and contributed almost $5.7 million in tax revenue to San Francisco.
The figures also do not include economic activity created throughout the region, local and Bay Area visitor spending, or the benefits associated with gripping media coverage of the high-tech competition that captivated a worldwide audience and showcased the Bay Area as an international tourist destination.
“The $550 million in economic activity generated by the America’s Cup is substantial,” said Sean Randolph, President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “The activity benefitted hundreds of small businesses and other employers in San Francisco and the Bay Area and produced tax revenue that supports a wide range of important city services.”
The economic benefits came from almost $280 million in overall spending by the various teams that competed, the hundreds of thousands of visitors that flocked to the waterfront to watch the most innovative and technologically advanced sailboats in the world and the many events that accompanied the races.
“Hosting the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco showcased our beautiful City to the world and brought thousands of new jobs, long-overdue legacy waterfront improvements, international visitor spending, and a boost to our regional economy,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “Our investment brought in significant revenue to the City and the lessons we learned will help us deliver even better world-class events in the Bay Area in the future.”
The bulk of the tax revenue — almost $3.7 million — came from hotel stays, while payroll-related taxes produced $2 million and tax revenue from parking and retail spending combined reached $2.1 million.
The largest segment of economic benefits — $126.7 million — stemmed from spectators who traveled to San Francisco to watch the competition’s sleek catamarans zip across the bay at speeds approaching 55 miles per hour.
A full Economic Impact Report will be issued before the end of the year.