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editorial

Boston’s next big spectator sport

Software billionaire Larry Ellison and his Oracle Team USA pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history this fall, rallying from an 1-to-8 deficit to take eight straight races and win the best-of-17 America’s Cup series. It was made especially memorable by the picturesque setting in San Francisco Bay, lined with an estimated 1 million spectators. That raises an intriguing question: Could Boston ever host an America’s Cup race?

Probably not. Boston Harbor isn’t big enough for a race where 72-foot-long and 48-foot-wide catamarans virtually fly at up to 50 miles per hour. San Francisco Bay is 488 square miles, with broad expanses of open water, while Boston Harbor is merely 50 square miles, peppered with islands. But there are still valuable lessons for Boston in San Francisco’s America’s Cup triumph, which reportedly produced a greater economic impact than the $480 million of the last Super Bowl in New Orleans.

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