28 Mar 2015

Loss of regatta 'huge' says business group

5:42 pm on 28 March 2015

It would be a huge loss if Auckland loses hosting rights for an America's Cup qualifying regatta, the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry says.

Team New Zealand said it has been told the organisers have decided to pull the competition from Auckland, although it says it has a legal agreement to host it.

The chamber's chief executive, Michael Barnett, said the regatta's projected contribution to Auckland's GDP reaches into the millions of dollars.

He said losing the regatta would hurt key industries such as tourism and boat-building.

Meanwhile, the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development agency is trying to confirm whether or not the hosting rights have in fact been lost.

Chief executive Brett O'Riley, said he wants to meet with Team New Zealand to discuss the issue.

He said his agency will continue with a feasibility study of a possible regatta until told by cup officials that Auckland is not needed.

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