Portsmouth in bid for America's Cup Team

Portsmouth City Council is reported to have put in a multi-million pound bid to pay for facilities and infrastructure if Sir Ben Ainslie chooses to set up his America's Cup team base at the Camber dock in Old Portsmouth. Leader of Portsmouth City Council Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the council had talked to the Department for Business for a bid of £8m to cover the costs of putting in the infrastructure and facilities needed to support the team.Ainslie and his J.P. Morgan BAR team at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 1, Singapore

The local newspaper, the News, reports that the city council hoped that if the £8m bid is successful it would convince the British America's Cup team to pick Portsmouth. It also reported that BAE Systems would support Sir Ben’s team by letting them use its Portsmouth facilities if needed.

The speculation arises from a report that the Ainslie AC team, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), was looking for a base location in the south of England, if they raised the money to fund an America's Cup challenge. The challenge and associated events are expected to take place in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

On the AC funding Ainslie said, "We’re working very hard to get the funding in place, which we’re a long way down the road on. We’re looking at designers and sailors and the sporting team, to get that together. So I’m very, very happy."

Ben Ainslie believes his British America's Cup team is in a good position ahead of the publication of the protocol for the next edition of the America's Cup, with around £35 million funding already secured. But Ainslie admits another £15 million is required from private sources and £50 million in sponsorship to fully-fund the British challenge

JP Morgan, a long-time Ainslie backer and the title sponsor of Ben Ainslie Racing from its launch, is understood to have first refusal on title sponsorship for the Cup challenge.