Auckland Council Considering Five Options For Hosting 2021 America's Cup Regatta
Major changes "are planned for Auckland's waterfront in the next few years" as the city prepares to host the 2021 America's Cup, according to Craig Hoyle of STUFF. The regatta will not "come cheap," with estimated costs ranging from NZ$140M-NZ$190M ($96.5M-$131M). Councilors were presented with five venue options at a "closed-door meeting" on Monday, and Auckland Council's governing body "will be asked to approve a final choice next week." Option 1 is extending Halsey Wharf, "which is Team New Zealand's preferred choice, but is also most expensive." Two other options involve the Captain Cook Wharf, "however those appear to be dead in the water for several reasons." Option 2 is kicking Ports of Auckland off Captain Cook Wharf, "with boats launching from the western side." Option 3 is kicking Ports of Auckland off Captain Cook Wharf, "with boats launching from the eastern side." Construction around the wharf would have a "significant impact" on cruise ships, which would need to dock elsewhere. In addition, Team New Zealand "raised concerns about choppy water" around Captain Cook Wharf due to the frequent passing of ferries and other vessels. Option 4 is called "dispersed central," with extensions to Halsey Wharf, Hobson Wharf and Westhaven Marina. Team New Zealand "made it clear it wants competing teams grouped together" to create the "feeling of one village." Option 5 is called "dispersed clustered," with extensions to Halsey and Hobson Wharfs, with further boats at Wynyard Point. Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development GM Steve Armitage said, "We dearly want to host this event in Auckland, and for Aucklanders and New Zealanders to get the benefit from it." Auckland is "under pressure to get the process started" (STUFF, 11/13). In Auckland, Bernard Orsman reported councilors were told the America's Cup regatta would add between NZ$550M ($379M) and NZ$1B ($690M) in "direct benefit to the New Zealand economy." Panuku Development Auckland Design & Place Dir Rod Marler said that technical experts "have undertaken a robust evaluation of a long list of possible locations" in Auckland, including Hobsonville, Gulf Harbour, Okahu Bay, Devonport and Bayswater. He said, "The locations have been evaluated on three criteria -- ability to deliver in the timeframe, ability to meet the requirements of the teams/events and the extent to which any investment delivers a legacy for Auckland and New Zealand." Marler said that the figures of NZ$140M-NZ$190M were "very indicative costs" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 11/13).