Britain, Spain and Dubai all tipped as potential hosts of the America's Cup 2024

Britain, Spain and Dubai all tipped as potential hosts of the America's Cup 2024

Despite Team New Zealand’s successful defense of the 36th America’s Cup on home water in March, a failure of organisers and the Kiwi government to reach a hosting agreement for the next regatta has made it more likely the most prestigious race in sailing will be hosted in another country. While it is called ‘Team New Zealand’, the crew is a private syndicate with no obligation to stage the 37th regatta at home in 2024.

TNZ said a three-month exclusive negotiating period with the New Zealand government and Auckland Council for hosting rights in 2024 expired without striking a deal overnight, according to Agence France-Presse and local reporting. The winner of the Cup gets to choose the format, class of boat and location for the next event. With it comes a significant amount of local spending between teams and tourists, in a sport that draws significant yacht traffic by spectators.

Those benefits were minimised this year due to coronavirus restrictions. This, along with the resulting economic downturn, means New Zealand would find it much harder to invest the large sums of money needed to host the next event.

America’s Cup Minister Stuart Nash described the outcome as disappointing, saying Auckland had the infrastructure to host the event.

“Tens of thousands of die-hard Kiwi fans who turned out to support the historic defense of the Cup in March want it raced in New Zealand,” he said. “At the end of the day, the America’s Cup is a global commercial operation. It is an international business as much as a sporting contest.”

Team New Zealand has not ruled out hosting the next Cup in Auckland, but with reports the team wants twice the amount being offered, there is no word that the government wants to return to the negotiating table. Britain’s Isle of Wight, Spain’s Valencia and Dubai have all been tipped as potential hosts in 2024 although no formal announcements have been made.

Source: IBI News