America’s Cup: Concerns within Ireland

Published on September 14th, 2021

Since the America’s Cup shifted toward heightening its commercial profile in 2007, there has been a list of cities that hoped to profit as well. But each opportunity required investment, which required a best estimate on the return.

But for Valencia (2007, 2010), San Francisco (2013), and Auckland (2021), that return failed to deliver.

Of the international cities bidding on the 37th America’s Cup, the Irish city of Cork has been most public about the process, but their enthusiasm is now getting shaded. Here’s a report from The Irish Times:

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney faces growing resistance in the Coalition to the State making a formal bid to host the 2024 America’s Cup yacht race in Cork.

Coveney has championed the project, arguing the prestigious race is third only to the Olympics and soccer World Cup in terms of scale for host countries.

But others in the Coalition remain unconvinced as concern builds about the cost of underwriting the race. There is also uncertainty over the potential returns from a major State investment in an elite event, at a time when many other sports remain underfunded.

Some officials believe the State could yet face costs exceeding €200 million to run the race, a big burden at a time of post-pandemic constraints on the public finances. A report for the Government by consultants EY projects €150 million in costs and potential economic benefits of €400 million-€500 million, but there is skepticism among the Coalition about the prospect of such gains being realized. – Full report

Editor’s note: Of course, the America’s Cup is an excellent opportunity for a city to host, but only at the right price. If Cork taps out, will the New Zealand defender get their asking price from bidders in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia or Barcelona, Spain? Or will Auckland become the best option? The venue reveal is allegedly on September 17, 2021.


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