Team New Zealand Decision ‘disappointing
’Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says Aucklanders will be disappointed at Emirates Team New Zealand’s decision to look overseas for the next America’s Cup defence.
“Moving the race overseas would be the first time a successful New Zealand team has not defended the Cup on home waters,” he says.
“Auckland Council and the government have made a combined offer in cash and in-kind of nearly $100 million, but Team New Zealand wanted twice that amount. That clearly was not sustainable in the post-COVID environment.
“While I understand Team New Zealand have to think about their commercial interests, I share Aucklanders’ disappointment that the Cup is looking like it is going overseas.
“Council invested $113 million in infrastructure for this year’s successful America’s Cup and made a huge effort to deliver it on time and on budget,” he said.
“Auckland was anticipating that the city and its businesses would get a second return on this investment, particularly after COVID prevented the positive economic impact of overseas visitors, and the boost super yacht refittings would have given to the maritime industry.
“The location of the Cup Village and bases in the centre of the city was popular with all of the teams and punters, and it created a great atmosphere for the competition. It’s hard to imagine a better venue for the races than the beautiful Waitematā Harbour.
“Auckland was a fantastic host for the races and hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders and Kiwis descended on the waterfront to enjoy the atmosphere and support Team New Zealand throughout the competition, despite the challenges caused by COVID-19.
“While the infrastructure created to support the Cup will stay in the city as a legacy for future generations despite this decision, I think Aucklanders and New Zealanders were expecting ETNZ to acknowledge the significant support they have received by choosing to defend the Cup in Auckland.