The Monetization of The America's Cup Viewing Opportunities
It's no big secret that the monies originally envisioned in hosting the 34th Americas Cup on San Francisco Bay have not materialized in the amounts the Cup Organizers had originally hoped for, and the real estate deals mostly vaporized in 11th hour negotiations.
In an effort to recoup some of the massive outlay, and there has been plenty spent, the ACEA is currently establishing a "Pay to Play" program with high dollar private yachts and commercial endeavours such as charters to allow an inner circle experience. For a price.
The bottom line is that for set % commision of your estimate gross, you will be allowed access to the inner circle of the race course edge. You need to reserve in advance, and if the event doesn't go forward, for instance a clean sweep in any event, the party would only be returned 15% of monies paid. It's a sliding scale which will climb to 50% of the said charter's for the AC Finals, Yes there are numerous perks included in the program, including marketing benefits via the official America's Cup Official sites and promotional materials, but is it worth it for the charters and what about the public?
We have spoken to a few charter outfits and they appear to be less than enthusiastic about the program, for several reasons, money being a great concern. Its a big chunk of their revenue for one and some of them spent countless hours during the City of SF BOS meetings testifying and lobbying to get the Cup to be hosted in SF in the early beginnings of the process. There is also a question of fairness to the general public, and will these boat be villainize for blocking the views general public, eager to obtain a glimpse of the races?
At this time we have a call in to the USCG to obtain clarification on any said enforcement
by their assets in the demarcation zones, separating those with the priority placement vs
the common sailor. We'll update this as we learn more.
What are your thoughts?