Executive Director of EDC Talks RI America’s Cup Hopes

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island's top economic development official says the state won't be ready to commit to the America's Cup until after a Dec. 31 deadline set by the team selecting the host city.

But Keith Stokes says that should not prevent BMW Oracle from choosing Newport as the venue for the 2013 America's Cup on a conditional basis.

Stokes said on Wednesday the state is a week or two away from an estimate on the cost of improving infrastructure at Newport's Fort Adams State Park.

Gov-Elect Lincoln Chafee has said he doesn't want to commit until that cost estimate is completed.

The Newport Chamber of Commerce is predicting a $1.1 billion economic boost if the city hosts the prestigious international sailing competition.

San Francisco and an unnamed Italian city are also vying for the races.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)