ALAMEDA -- The Italian sailing team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 will be based in Alameda as it competes on San Francisco Bay for the 34th America's Cup this summer, the second team to be based in the city, officials announced Monday.
Luna Rossa, which represents the Circolo della Vela Sicilia Yacht Club, will join Sweden's Artemis Racing at Alameda Point, or the former Alameda Naval Air Station.
Luna Rossa, or "red moon" in Italian, will lease a 65,400-square-foot former aircraft hangar for the next seven months, city officials said.
"Alameda is an excellent location that will allow us to operate quickly and efficiently," Antonio Marrai, logistics manager for Luna Rossa, said in a release. "Even though we will race from Pier 30-32 in San Francisco starting in July, we will keep our base in Alameda."
The terms of the lease were not immediately available. But the announcement that Luna Rossa would set up in Alameda comes just a day before the City Council will consider renewing the lease for Artemis Racing for up to one year at 1050 West Tower Ave.
Along with providing a 110,561-square-foot former hangar, the lease will allow the Swedish team to use 22,604 square feet of former aircraft taxiway and portions of the Seaplane Lagoon at the former military base. The city has already entered into an agreement with the Navy for access to the lagoon.
The base monthly rent for Artemis will be $23,400 between January and May 30, and $25,000 from June until the lease expires. If the team remains in Alameda and does not use the taxiway or lagoon, the rent will drop to $21,600 each month.
Artemis represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club and initially signed a one-year lease in May last year.
Fashion house Prada is sponsoring Luna Rossa at reportedly $55.2 million. Patrizio Bertelli, Prada's chief executive officer, launched the team in 1997 under the name Prada Challenge to compete in America's Cup 2000. Lusa Rossa also participated in 2003 and 2007, when the Italians reached the Louis Vuitton Cup final for challengers before losing to Team New Zealand.
"2013 is the 'Year of Italian Culture in the U.S.,' and we are very proud of Luna Rossa's participation in the America's Cup," said Mauro Battocchi, the consul general of Italy in San Francisco. "Italy is a nation of sailors and sailing is very popular with the Italian public. Italy will follow the America's Cup step by step and we do hope for a great performance."
Christopher Seiwald, chair of Alameda's Ad Hoc Committee for the America's Cup, said the two teams will boost the local economy, noting that as an island the city has a strong sailing community and many maritime-related businesses.
Both Luna Rossa and Artemis Racing are taking on defender Oracle Team USA of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Emirates Team New Zealand is also competing.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.