The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron together with Emirates Team New Zealand, has announced that they are extending the selection period for the 37th America’s Cup venue.
While no mention of the possible new date of the venue annoucement was included in the press release, it did indicate that Auckland was back on the table as a possible venue.
RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young has said that . . . ‘they would rather allow some more time now so we make the right decision as opposed to a rushed decision.’
In a short press release, ETNZ and RNZYS said that they believed that it was is both prudent and responsible to extend the deadline in which the three shortlisted offshore venues can continue to progress negotiations.
Claiming that the Covid lockdown in New Zealand had made it impossible for ETNZ team members to visit the venues.
It was originally planned to carry out essential face to face meetings and to provide final team feedback to act on Origin Sports Group’s recommendations and announce the venue on 17 September.
ETNZ and RNZYS have had to balance the need for further time to ensure they accept a bid that is in the best interests of the America’s Cup event with the need for Challengers to know the final venue as soon as practicable.
Furthermore, on Wednesday morning (15 Sep), ETNZ and RNZYS received a letter from Mark Dunphy regarding the viability of his funding to maintain the event in Auckland.
This extension of the process will also allow Mr Dunphy further time to answer the questions they have already put to him over the past month.
Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ, commented:
“The fundamental fact is that we have a number of outstanding potential venues literally going down to the wire and all of them with strong and competitive bids on the table and firmly committed to completing agreements in the coming weeks – that’s a good place to be in for sure.”
In a nod to the prospect of the next America’s Cup event remaining in New Zealand, he added:
“As we have always maintained throughout, however unlikely it seemed, Auckland has never been off the table for obvious reasons.”
“So now that we finally have an 11th hour letter from Mr Dunphy, it would be remiss of us not to explore the viability of an Auckland event and if it in fact can be fully and completely funded locally. To date there has been no evidence of this being the case.”
The search for the AC37 Host Venue was started back in May 2020 by Origin Sports Group but was paused for an exclusive three-month period from March 17th, during which the New Zealand Government had the exclusive right to negotiate AC37 being held in New Zealand.
The search was continued once that period lapsed.