Money needed for America’s Cup defense

Published on June 15th, 2021

The escalating costs of the America’s Cup may have exceeded what New Zealand is willing to pay, leaving the Team New Zealand at a cross roads. Does the defender do what they can as a home team or shop the hosting rights abroad.

Only twice before had the hosting rights been shopped, first occurring out of need when the Swiss won in 2003, and with no site within their borders meeting the Deed of Gift terms, selected Valencia, Spain. The second time was out of greed when the USA moved their second defense in 2017 from San Francisco to Bermuda.

While historically underfunded, the Kiwi team has prevailed with less, but even they may now be unable to fund a suitable effort. Having previously announced that the venue would be revealed by September and the Protocol for the 37th edition to be published by November, the clock is ticking.

Has the cost of the America’s Cup exceeded what the most tenured team can afford? Here are some updates:

• No final decision has been made about where the next America’s Cup will be held – but it is highly unlikely that it will be in New Zealand. Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton on Tuesday night (June 15) told more than 400 members of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron that it was extremely unlikely that an agreement with the Government to stage the next event on Kiwi waters would be reached, after more than three months of negotiations had failed. – Full report

• Team New Zealand have given hope to some America’s Cup racing being held in Auckland even if they are forced to take the actual regatta overseas for financial reasons. Dalton said a World Series regatta in Auckland between America’s Cups was on their wish-list and that the bulk of the team’s preparations for the next defense would still be done in Auckland, where they have their own boat-building facility and base. – Full report

• The Irish city of Cork is reportedly eyeing the America’s Cup hosting rights for the 2024 event with Auckland looking on the outer. The Irish Examiner reports that Cork is lining up a bid for the event, while the Isle of Wight, China, Saudi Arabia, Valencia and Dubai have also been tipped as possible locations. According to the Examiner, a technical team from the America’s Cup organizing authority has visited Cork for a site assessment. – Full report

• Mega-airline Emirates has posted its biggest loss in the company’s history as the financial impacts of COVID-19 extend further into global travel operators. After posting a NZ$7.7 billion loss for the last financial year, Emirates Team New Zealand Grant Dalton said he was aware of rumors the airline wasn’t going to renew its naming rights deal with the America’s Cup team. – Full report

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