America’s Cup in search of next donkey
Published on June 30th, 2021
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
After the Kiwi government did not meet the asking price of Team New Zealand for hosting the next America’s Cup, the defender is now shopping the event offshore to find a venue that considers the benefit worth the investment.
With the heightened expectations now for the host, which has included significant infrastructure costs and hosting fee, it has been gamble by governments which has rarely paid off. Perhaps Bermuda came out okay in 2017 but nobody else has since 2007.
While one would think past history would help future bidders, the needed data is either likely not available, or based on estimations of future participation that fall short.
The closest comparison might be the Olympic Games which are scheduled every two years, alternating between summer and winter sports, and rarely returning to the same city. Host venues invest massive amounts of money to gain benefit, much like any city which bids on the next America’s Cup.
Associated Press reporter Stephen Wade focusses on the Olympic Games, and in this series of tweets, comments on the value of hosting the event:
Wolfgang Maennig, an economist and former gold-medal Olympian, once described the Olympics this way to me. “It’s like throwing a big party. You overspend. You hope your friends enjoy themselves. And you hope they leave happy and this may benefit you.” That’s it. Zero tangible.
Here is what he said in an interview (was not mine): “There have been a number of studies using statistical data from the host cities and host countries. As always in academics, you find a range of opinions.
“But the overwhelming majority of these studies say that there are no significant effects from mega-events on income, employment, tax income, tourism, and so on.
“There might be other benefits, such as more medals for the host nation, a feel-good factor for the population, and a better reputation for the host city. But the positive ‘core’ economic effects cannot be proved.”
Summary. Olympics do not give much short-term, long-term boost.
After San Francisco found the 2013 America’s Cup was not worth the 2017 asking price, and now Auckland found the 2021 America’s Cup not to be worth the latest asking price, how much longer can the dangling carrot find a willing donkey?