Pragmatism has become fashionable
Published on September 21st, 2021
As government funding is required to host the America’s Cup, public opinion matters. Politicians like getting reelected, and their decisions tend to follow the wind direction. With a growing number of host cities not finding the promised riches, being pragmatic is becoming fashionable.
While initially shocking to Kiwi Cup fans, the idea that their Team New Zealand would take the event offshore has become a sensible option. Despite massive crowds upon their March 2021 victory, a new poll shows New Zealanders don’t want the America’s Cup defended at home at an increased cost to the taxpayer.
Following the 36th America’s Cup, the government’s offer to do it again fell short of the team’s expectations, and the poll showed there was just 26 percent of respondents in favor of the champion syndicate defending the America’s Cup in New Zealand “with significant increase in public/tax payer investment”.
In contrast, 50 per cent supported the notion of Team New Zealand defending the Cup offshore without any Kiwi taxpayer money at all, with 24 percent of respondents still unsure in the survey from August 30 to September 5 of a nationally representative sample of New Zealanders aged 18 and over.
Team New Zealand had rejected the offer from the New Zealand government and Auckland that would give them $31m from a $99m investment, believing that an additional $80m was required for a solid defense. The team is hoping offshore bids from Ireland, Saudi Arabia, or Spain will meet their needs.