A ruling on allegations that America’s Cup defending champion Oracle Team USA cheated was pushed back to this afternoon.
Organizers told KTVU-AP on Monday that a decision from the international jury regarding the use of illegally modified prototype catamarans in warm-up regattas last year and earlier this year is expected later today.
Although the jury has worked in confidentiality, there has been speculation that Oracle Team USA could be docked a point or two in the best-of-17 America's Cup match against Emirates Team New Zealand on San Francisco Bay. It's also possible that some sailors could be barred from competing.
Some observers worry that the allegations have detracted from the 162-year-old event, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported that since early July 500,000 people have streamed into two official venues, the America's Cup Park on Piers 27-29 and the America's Cup Village on Marine Green, according to regatta organizers.
Though by itself that rate of attendance would not be on pace to hit 2 million spectators by the time the races end late this month, the figure does not include myriad people who have watched from Crissy Field, Aquatic Park, Pier 39, boats on the bay and countless other vantage points. The figure also does not include thousands of people who have attended concerts at a 9,000-seat temporary amphitheater set up for the event.
"We're pretty happy," America's Cup Event Authority CEO Stephen Barkley told the Chronicle.
Because fewer people arrived than expected, the city scaled back its shuttle bus services. A smaller event is also a cheaper one, and city cost estimates have slid from more than $50 million at one point to less than $22 million today.
As of June 30, the city had spent $13.4 million on the event, with almost $8.4 million of that reimbursed by the America's Cup Organizing Committee, a group of civic leaders who were expected to raise $32 million to offset city costs.