Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard says the city is ready to host the 33rd Americas Cup if Emirates Team New Zealand are successful in the Cup finals. Thrilled with todays comprehensive 5-0 victory over Luna Rossa to claim the Louis Vuitton Cup in Valencia, Mr Hubbard says the council has already undertaken work to consider site options for hosting the next Cup in 2010/2011.
There is a lot of work to be done but we already have a fantastic foundation to build on should we win the Americas Cup. We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders on the waterfront to make sure the city is ready.
This will be another opportunity for Auckland to secure its place on the international marine events calendar, says Mr Hubbard, who was in Valencia at the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup series.
The council believes that to secure major events the city needs a purpose-built, consistently available venue with world-class, appropriate event facilities and a regulatory environment which permits the hosting of events.
Research and consultation have supported the need for a marine events precinct on Aucklands CBD waterfront where events like the Americas Cup, round the world yacht races and annual events like the International Boat Show and Air New Zealand Fashion Week could be held.
Mr Hubbard says a marine events precinct combined with Aucklands already near-perfect yachting conditions make the city the natural home for the Americas Cup.
The Hauraki Gulf is the ideal location for challenging sailing with the benefit of comparatively sheltered waters for spectator craft.
Our fingers are crossed that Team New Zealand will bring home the cup to defend in Aucklands waters.
The planning being undertaken by the council builds on work initially started in 2002 before the loss of the 31st Americas Cup in 2003.
Plans were in place to extend the Halsey Street wharf northwards to cater for new bases if we had won that series. This is still one of the options being considered if Team New Zealand are successful in Valencia.
Port Americas Cup in Valencia also utilised the successful ingredients of the Auckland city site for the past two Cups including:
Syndicate bases with public areas for sponsorship corporate hosting, retail and public exhibitions. Super yacht berths in the heart of the area for the public to enjoy and experience. A public viewing area where the race boats pass so people can get a great view of the boats as they leave and return from racing, and for big screen coverage, concerts and other public events like the prizegiving.