And then there were four

Short list narrowed for possible America's Cup venue

Friday September 5th 2003, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Mediterranean
With the objective of choosing the venue and host city for the 32nd America's Cup, AC Management retained eight European venues in March this year. In June that number was reduced to five as progress was made in the process, and today that number has been reduced further to stand at just four.

In June the five candidates, Lisbon (POR), Marseille (FRA), Naples (ITA), Palma de Mallorca (ESP), Valencia (ESP), were provided with a document entitled Manual for the Candidate Cities. This manual contained 80 questions and the dossiers containing each candidate’s answers were submitted to AC Management at the end of July. These dossiers became the primary tool for evaluating city suitability, and thereby facilitating AC Management's task in making the best choice of venue for the next America’s Cup.

In late August representatives from all five cities travelled individually to Geneva to make final oral presentations to AC Management.

"The process we are using to identify the city that will host the next America’s Cup bodes well for the potential of expanding the scope and reach of this great event amongst a new and broader audience," says Michel Bonnefous, CEO of AC Management. "We must now move to the next stage, which is one of contractual negotiation. And for this reason it is imperative for us to reduce this short list to include just one city per country. Due to two powerful bids Spain is the only country with more than one city on the list. Both Palma and Valencia are worthy candidates but we have had to decide which of the two offered the best chances of progressing to the final stages. We believe that Valencia offers this potential.”

The new short list therefore includes the four following venues, in alphabetical order, Lisbon (POR), Marseille (FRA), Naples (ITA), Valencia (ESP).

Michel Bonnefous added: "With this new short list we are now able to continue into the final part of the process. Over the coming weeks, we will be concentrating on negotiations with these four cities, handling the more precise details for hosting the 32nd America's Cup at contractual level. The climax of this process will be the announcement of the identity of the final choice. This must take place before 15th December this year.”

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