Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's statement on the America's Cup:


Congratulations to Oracle Team USA on completing the greatest comeback in sporting history and retaining the America's Cup in spectacular fashion. Oracle Team USA retained the 34th America's Cup by winning a heretofore unheard of 8 straight races. Team Oracle USA earned a hard fought victory on the water in front of great crowds both on land in San Francisco and on award winning television broadcasts around the world.

I want to thank both Oracle Team USA and Team New Zealand for helping to showcase this magnificent competition and the most majestic of settings, San Francisco Bay. With 550 accredited journalists from 30 countries, the America's Cup shone the world spotlight on the Bay Area and made it clear that San Francisco is a world destination and sporting capitol.

This spectacular event was the vision of my good friend, Larry Ellison and Oracle USA CEO Russell Coutts. Their drive brought the oldest trophy in sports back to the United States in 2010 and their commitment brought the America's Cup regatta to San Francisco. Team USA's imagination and innovation democratized a once unreachable sport for the fans by holding the races in San Francisco Bay, developing exciting new technologies like LiveLine and creating a television experience second to none.

With more than 1,000,000 fans visiting the America's Cup Park, including 100,000 watching live racing from Marina Green, the 34th America's Cup was the first in the competition's 162 year history that allowed spectators to view the races clearly from land.

If you compare that to the NFL's Super Bowl, the pinnacle of American sporting events, the last Super Bowl in New Orleans drew about 135,000 visitors and only 72,000 for the game itself. The economic impact for New Orleans was about $480 million. Comparatively, the economic impact for the Bay Area from the 34th America's Cup will be well north of that when the summer-long impact is all counted.

The people of the Bay Area deserve the most credit for their commitment to the races since 2010 both as spectators and for their service. More than 1,000 volunteers did everything from welcoming visitors to the venues to cleaning up more than 17,000 pounds of trash from 23 beach cleanups that took place in the year leading up to the competition.

Finally, I want to again thank Emirates Team New Zealand, who upheld the long-standing tradition of proud challengers and waged a fierce final with integrity. While losing is never easy, particularly after having a 7 race lead, I hope they take away special memories of San Francisco and understand that they are always welcome here in the City by the Bay.