Emirates Team New Zealand drops opposition to America's Cup base
Sailing’s Emirates Team New Zealand is reported to have dropped its insistence that its base for its defence of the America’s Cup, the sport’s blue-riband event, in 2021 should be a controversial extension of Auckland’s Halsey Wharf.
Instead, the team has accepted the city council proposal to shortlist two, cheaper options: a cluster of bases on Halsey, Hobson and Wynyard Wharf East; and a cluster of bases on Wynyard Wharf's western and eastern side.
The former is expected to be the council’s preferred choice, ahead of a decision on 14 December.
Emirates Team New Zealand had claimed that its own preferred site would “best deliver for the event requirements, for public access and consolidating activities on one location to support the operation of the Village.”
However, the option would take longer to construct and be more expensive, at NZ$169 million ($116 million), compared with NZ$124 million for the council’s preferred option.
The team said that it would “continue to work constructively with council and government to progress the plans.”
Earlier this week it emerged that there were divisions over the location of the base. Emirates Team New Zealand, which beat Oracle Team USA 7-1 in Bermuda in June, warned that the 2021 edition could be staged in Italy (home country of the challenger of record Luna Rossa) if agreement could not be reached on the location and specifics of the base.