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America's Cup: Dalton pleased with outcome of massively compromised event

by Sail-World NZ/America's Cup Events 20 Jul 2021 04:32 PDT 20 July 2021
Emirates Team New Zealand win the 36th America's Cup © ACE / Studio Borlenghi

America’s Cup Event Ltd (ACE) has released its event delivery report for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada. The report is independent of the NZ Government/Auckland Council report which was also released today, but which focuses on financial and economic aspects of the 36th America's Cup regattas.

With one exception, the ACE report has not been mentioned by New Zealand media, who have instead focused on the NZ Govt and Auckland Council report issued later.

The ACE report properly excludes all legacy infrastructure cost, while the Auckland Council/NZ Govt puts that cost into the financial analysis for the event and comes up with a staggering cost of $766million to stage the 36th America's Cup.

A comprehensive review on all aspects of the delivery of the event by ACE of what was ultimately a highly successful global event given the challenges of organising an event of this scale in New Zealand and the unprecedented restrictions due to COVID19. The report makes a number of observations as to what worked and didn't in the context of AC36, and how that could be carried over into AC37. It will no doubt be keenly read by venues looking to host the 37th America's cup.

As previously reported, AC36 was the most-watched America’s Cup of all time, with a Total global audience of 941m people and a dedicated audience of 68.2 million viewers across the world, in 236 territories, viewing 52 hours of Live broadcast, putting Auckland, New Zealand and the America’s Cup firmly in the spotlight around the globe. Curiously the Auckland Council/NZ Govt report rates the value of the exposure at just $5million based on Auckland tourism impact only.

The America’s Cup race village had a total village attendance of 860,000 visitors over the race period (15 Dec- 17 March). Visitor numbers are about a third of this number as the Auckland Council/NZ Govt report claims to count individuals only regardless of how many times they may have crossed the venue threshold. The ACE visitor number is based a count of the total visits regardless of how many times a Cup fan entered the America's Cup environment.

A legacy of the 36th America’s Cup has seen 26 new boats, used as course marshal boats be given to Coastguard for reassignment to posts around the country.

Also released today, the Hosts’ ‘Post AC36 evaluation report’ of the event which included the Cost Benefit Analysis of the event which included an assessment of social, cultural and environmental costs and benefits as well as the financial impact.

The cost-benefit analysis (CBA) identified that, Auckland had a cost benefit ratio of 0.85, and New Zealand had a cost benefit ratio of 0.79- this even with the significant restrictions of COVID19. When considering financial returns only, Auckland got 72 cents back for every dollar put in. The same measure for New Zealand equates to 48 cents back for every dollar put in.

As anticipated the overall economic return of the event was much lower than forecast due to the overarching impacts of COVID-19, significantly restricting international visitors, media and superyachts and teams as well as a reduced number of public race days in the race village due to increased COVID alert levels and the Hosts costs being higher than forecast.

America’s Cup Event CEO Grant Dalton said, “Under the circumstances we are really pleased with the cost benefit analysis announced today. To have a cost benefit ratio of 0.85 for Auckland on an event that was massively compromised because of COVID-19 and the closed borders to international visitors, international media and superyachts.

Certainly the world changed significantly since we won the America’s Cup in 2017, and essentially the entire organisation of the event was flipped on its head one year out so even just the fact we managed to achieve putting on a successful major global sporting event in Auckland, while the majority of the world was locked down was a huge achievement.”

At the end of the report the Challenger of Record Luna Rossa and Event sponsor Prada comment on their relationship with the 36th America's Cup saying they did not feel that "COR and ACE were rarely in the same waka (boat). They called for a direct line between the COR, the Hosts (NZ Govt) and City would have been "very helpful indeed". And further "the treatment of COR by Panuku in relation to the AMG structures on Halsey Wharf left a sour taste in the mouths of COR"

The Challenger of Record noted that the standard of the America's Cup Village and facilities was significantly higher than for previous America's Cups. Prada invested $150million into the 36th America's Cup event.

The detailed report can be downloaded by clicking here

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