28 Jun 2017

Auckland sets sights on next America's Cup

6:24 am on 28 June 2017

Aucklanders are hopeful of hosting the next America's Cup, but questions remain over where the teams would be based, and who would pay for the development.

A large crowd lines Viaduct Basin to welcome Swiss challenger Alinghi SUI-64 (centre L), skippered by New Zealander Russell Coutts, and Team New Zealand NZL-82 (centre R), skippered by Dean Barker, after the fifth and final race of the 31st America's Cup 02 March 2003.

Crowds line the Viaduct Basin to welcome Swiss challenger Alinghi and Team New Zealand after the final race of the America's Cup in Auckland 2003. Photo: AFP

While it has yet to be confirmed, Team New Zealand has indicated it would like to hold the next regatta in New Zealand, with Auckland the likely venue.

Auckland's Viaduct Basin was America's Cup central for Team New Zealand's last two defences in home waters, in 2000 and 2003.

That area has been a focus for development in the central city and is now full of bars and restaurants.

Phillip Ketel, who works at The Crab Shack, said businesses would welcome the Cup's return.

"There's this picture circulating on Facebook amongst my friends, which is an aerial shot of the Viaduct last time we hosted and won the America's Cup and there's just people everywhere," he said.

"With all the new businesses and restaurants opening in the Viaduct, they're going to need that sort of cash injection, and having something like the America's Cup, which is a huge, prestigious event, would be absolutely amazing to get those businesses up and running as well."

The manager of The Lula Inn, Ross Jensen, remembered the buzz in town around the last two America's Cup regattas.

"All the way through town, through the America's Cup village ... everything, the whole town was just phenomenal," he said.

"It was comparable to the Rugby World Cup."

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said the last two America's Cup events in Auckland had brought in hundreds of millions of dollars - not just for tourism but for boat building and other related industries.

He said there was a lot more waterfront development needed to get ready for the next one.

"The base that was used in Auckland last time simply doesn't exist any more, it's now hotels, restaurants and apartments and other facilities and that's what Auckland benefited from in the last America's Cup."

"It's got a fantastic waterfront that it didn't have before, so there's now an opportunity to have further development somewhere along the Auckland waterfront."

Team NZ is bringing the Auld Mug home after 14 years away with a 7-1 win over Oracle Team USA in Bermuda.

Team NZ is bringing the Auld Mug home after 14 years away Photo: Twitter / @EmiratesTeamNZ

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said it was still early days and he was waiting for Team New Zealand to make an official announcement about where and when the next America's Cup would be held.

There were also questions about where the team bases would be located, and who would pay for that development.

Mr Goff said while the council was happy to cooperate, essential housing and transport infrastructure would remain its spending priority.

He said the bulk of the development money would need to come from the private sector, or central government.

Once there was a timeframe for the hosting of the event, options for where an America's Cup village and team bases could be located could start being looked at, Mr Goff said.