America’s Cup Economic Report Delayed

Published on October 31st, 2017

by Jonathan Bell, The Royal Gazette
Hamilton, Bermuda (October 31, 2017) – A report assessing how well the America’s Cup delivered on investment is now in the hands of Cabinet, according to the ACBDA (America’s Cup Bermuda).

A spokeswoman for the body told The Royal Gazette that the economic, social and environmental impact report for the 35th America’s Cup had been “completed and sent to Cabinet for their review in mid-October.” She added: “We anticipate releasing it and ACBDA’s Legacy report to the public in the very near future.”

The independent appraisal was commissioned in July from the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.  The accountants were taken on by the ACBDA a little more than two weeks before the July 18 General Election brought about a change of government.

At the time, Grant Gibbons, then the Minister of Economic Development, welcomed the report after “much speculation about the economic impact of AC35”.

The economic impact study, which would examine the event’s social and economic effects, had been expected to be completed this month, with today marking the final day. No response had been received from the ministry by press time after The Royal Gazette inquired about the status of the report.

The global regatta’s benefits to the island were disputed when the Progressive Labour Party was in opposition, and sparring has continued with its return to power.

David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, accused the One Bermuda Alliance last month of neglecting to budget for a $4.3 million overspend on sponsorship for the America’s Cup.

Later in September, Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier and transport minister, told the House of Assembly that more than $1.6 million was required at the Department of Marine and Ports because of America’s Cup overruns.

Last night, Justin Mathias, speaking for the OBA, said: “We have been wondering what has become of the report. The PLP spent an inordinate amount of energy in Opposition trying to discredit the value of the America’s Cup. Why are they now delaying the economic impact report’s release?”

UPDATE: This article has been amended to confirm the whereabouts of the Economic Assessment Report for the 35th America’s Cup and to clarify the identity of the OBA spokesman.

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