Will Kiwis lose America’s Cup if they win?

Published on February 8th, 2021

Team New Zealand is seeking advice on the commercial landscape for the next America’s Cup as speculation swirls that the competition is being “shopped around” to overseas venues.

A well-placed source told the New Zealand Herald they understood Italian billionaire and businessman Matteo de Nora – the principal and long-time advocate of Team NZ – had been involved in considering potential venues outside this country for the next event.

Qatar was tipped as one option while other possible locations included elsewhere in the Middle East, parts of Europe, and Singapore and China.

“This is disloyal,” the source said. “I think most New Zealanders would be upset. They are expected to cheer for New Zealand to win only to find out the whole country could be shafted because they [Team NZ] could collect money from somewhere else,” he said.

Successive governments have previously helped bankroll Team NZ campaigns, based partly on the potential tourism bonanza a New Zealand defence generates.

De Nora could not be reached for comment. In a statement to written questions from the Herald, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton (above) said: “As a team, Emirates Team NZ has only ever existed and evolved to bring the America’s Cup back to New Zealand to host.

“Due to COVID-19, the world is clearly a different place to what it was after the last America’s Cup in terms of staging of major sporting events as well as the entire commercial sponsorship market.

“So as the current defender of the America’s Cup, Emirates Team NZ has engaged an agency to research and assess the wider commercial environment globally and domestically to provide a future overview for the event and the team upon the completion of this 36th edition.

“Of course, our total focus at this time is on the defence of the 36th America’s Cup against what will ultimately be a formidable opponent. And any level of assumption on what the next level holds is premature given we haven’t won this event yet.” – Full report

Editor’s note: Further in the Herald report, former Vice Commodore of Golden Gate Yacht Club Tom Ehman said, “To shop it offshore is ridiculous and absurd.” However, when his club became the America’s Cup defender, they used competing bids to leverage the best deal from San Francisco, and when the City realized they overspent after the 2013 event, GGYC took the event to Bermuda.

The PRADA Cup is a series of four round robins (Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 22-24), with the winner of the series qualifying for the PRADA Cup Final and the remaining two Challengers going into a Semi-Final Series (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) for the right to join the Round Robin winner in the Final (Feb. 13–22). The winner of the PRADA Cup will then face the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match beginning March 6.

More information:
• Prada Cup format, standings, and how to watch online: click here.
• Complete America’s Cup coverage: click here
• Additional America’s Cup information: click here

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