Larry Ellison meets local authorities in Valencia; proposes 34th AC in 2010
It was rumored, at least here in Valencia, that right after the end of the RC44 Cagliari Cup, Larry Ellison would drop by the city in order to meet local authorities and discuss the possibility of holding the 34th America's Cup here, if of course BMW Oracle wins the 33rd edition against Alinghi.
If one is to believe Las Provincias, Valencia's main newspaper, the American billionaire was indeed in Valencia on Monday and held a secret meeting with Francisco Camps, the president of the Valencia Region, and Rita Barberá, the city's mayor. The meeting was held in Camps' office and lasted an hour and a half, always according to the newspaper.
Las Provincias has a mainly right-wing orientation, as do the two governments (local and regional) and as a result, it enjoys a very good relationship with both of them and has the privilege of accessing very reliable high-ranked officials. If the information comes from within the local authorities, it is very reliable.
There are very few, if any, details in the article about what Ellison discussed with the two politicians. It appears that BMW Oracle's owner came to Valencia with a proposal for holding the 34th edition in 2010, based on the assumption the 33rd edition takes place next October. Of course, this is purely theoretical, given the legal uncertainties but it shows Ellison's intention to move on as quickly as possible once the 33rd America's Cup is out of the way.
Last but not least, there is a brief mention in the article of the financial terms the city proposes. According to the article, Valencia's politicians are thinking of offering BMW Oracle what Alinghi proposed a couple of weeks ago. That is 50 million euros for the 33rd edition and 75 to 100 million euros for the 34th. According to the newspaper, no matter who organizes the 34th edition, Valencia will offer exactly the same financial considerations and rights. This isn't only related to the cash amount but also advertising and television rights, the marina as well as the commercial exploitation of the entire America's Cup complex.
No matter how you do the math, it is impossible to justify the 50 million for a race between two boats that will not last more than a week while a regatta involving up to 10 teams and lasting almost two years is valued at only twice that amount. If Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi's owner, gets that deal, then he's a hell of a negotiator.