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Auckland City re-thinks Viaduct Harbour naming

MEDIA RELEASE
29 October 2003

Auckland City re-thinks Viaduct Harbour naming rights

Auckland City is withdrawing commercial naming rights to the Viaduct Harbour while it develops a long-term strategy for the area.

The long-term strategy, expected to be released in 2004, will address issues relating to the Viaduct’s identity and future use as well as possible uses for the former Team New Zealand base and Western Viaduct area.

American Express has been a sponsor of the Viaduct Harbour since 1996 as part of an agreement with America’s Cup Village Limited and more recently AC2003 Limited. During the 2002/2003 America’s Cup, the official name became the American Express Viaduct Harbour. Naming rights were then extended to 31 October to allow Auckland City time to consider a proposal from American Express to continue as a naming rights partner for a further four years.

American Express spokesman Craig Dowling says the company respects Auckland City’s decision not to continue to offer naming rights and is happy to look at other ways to support Auckland and build on the strong relationship that has been established.

“The sponsorship challenged people’s thinking and provided us with a way to support Team New Zealand’s defence of the America’s Cup and, at the same time, to support the host city. The partnership was a success and I believe that the bar has been well and truly raised for the hosting of future America’s Cup regattas.

On top of the naming rights sponsorship American Express has contributed funds to an events programme run in conjunction with Heart of the City, Viaduct Harbour Limited and a grouping of Viaduct bars and restaurants. The events series has provided regular free weekend entertainment for Viaduct visitors. This programme will run into the summer.

Auckland City’s Recreation and Events Committee chairperson, Councillor Scott Milne, thanks American Express for its support and believes the close relationship will continue.

“The city has been extremely privileged to have the support of American Express during the America’s Cup regatta. They have been hugely supportive of the area and have displayed real community spirit and corporate responsibility,” says Mr Milne.

“The long-term strategy for the waterfront area will outline how we can best position and promote the Viaduct Harbour for entertainment and events both nationally and internationally.”

Ends

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