Auckland cashes in on America's Cup
A new report by the New Zealand government’s Office of Tourism and Sport estimates that the America’s Cup brought NZ$640 million into the country and created work for thousands of people. Auckland is believed to have benefitted to the tune of NZ$473 million.
But in Sydney, a battle is raging between residents living near the temporary marina built in Rushcutters Bay for the Olympic sailing events and the Australian Yachting Federation, which is now lobbying to make the marina permanent.
Locals had been opposed even to the temporary marina, which is due for removal in March, but the AYF is arguing that Sydney Harbour could lose out when bidding to run major international sailing regattas if the pontoons are removed. The matter is likely to be decided by the Cabinet of the New South Wales government.
Things seem altogether more harmonious in Auckland, where Tourism Industry Association boss Glenys Coughlan said New Zealand’s benefit from the America's Cup on a per capita basis could outstrip Australia's benefit from the Olympics. "Unlike Sydney, we have the opportunity to repeat the benefits of the America's Cup over and over again, so long as we keep winning," she commented.
Prime Minister Helen Clark was even more enthusiastic about the rewards her country is reaping: "If you look at the intangibles, such as the extra TV, radio and print coverage which New Zealand received around the globe, the confidence it brought to the country, particularly Auckland, was worth billions."
A separate report on the media coverage, prepared by the Louis Vuitton Cup challengers, found that the Cup received 1,948 hours of worldwide television coverage compared with 720 hours in 1995, and 13 billion internet hits.