Valencia: Once bitten, Twice shy

Published on June 21st, 2021

The rights to host the 37th America’s Cup is being shopped by Team New Zealand after the value assessed by Auckland was less than the team had hoped. It is understood the defender has received interest from Cork, Ireland; Cowes, UK; Doha, Qatar; Dubai, UAE; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Oman; Singapore; and Valencia, Spain.

The interest from Valencia, which hosted the racing in 2007 and 2010, comes from a private sector working group which includes the Real Club Náutico de Valencia, with the entity viewing the event as an opportunity to stimulate its economic recovery which has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Valencia Mayor Joan Ribo appears cool over a bid to host the next America’s Cup, pointing out the city still owes $20m from staging the 2007 version. While the working party is hoping to tap into Spain’s $29b share of a Next Generation EU fund, designed to help European countries from the pandemic, Ribo is not eager to dig a deeper hole.

“We have to pay €6m ($7m) this year and six next year. This started in 2007, we are in 2021, and we are still paying debt,” stressed Ribo.

“The event was important but had very high costs for the city. We are going to study it (the club’s proposed bid). If the balance is positive, it is okay, but if the balance has to cost us a lot, we will say no. I think it is an interesting bet. It is an interesting sport but, ultimately, the city of Valencia must evaluate.”

Ribo said he was waiting for meetings and more details from the yacht club and the bid would be judged on its feasibility and profitability. Team New Zealand has until September 17 to confirm the next hosting plans, with Auckland still a possibility to host the event if private money can be found.

Source: STUFF media

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