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24 Jan 2018 2:53
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Sailing

    America's Cup should be free: Team NZ

    Team NZ boss Grant Dalton says the next America's Cup in Auckland will be free to watch if the government can stump up with an event fee.

    Team New Zealand says the event fee it is seeking from the government will make the next America's Cup free to watch in person and on television.

    Chief executive Grant Dalton continued his defence of a fee which he says is critical to run the next regatta in Auckland in 2021.

    He says the money is purely for operational purposes, not to help Team NZ retain the Auld Mug, and isn't near the various figures of well over $100 million which had been speculated in the media.

    Dalton confirmed Team NZ won't seek government financial help for its sailing programme, as was needed on the way to winning the America's Cup in Bermuda this year.

    However, running the regatta will be expensive, particularly as Dalton is adamant supporters shouldn't have to pay at the gate if they want to soak up the atmosphere on the Auckland waterfront.

    He also wants racing to be accessed on free broadcasting platforms.

    "A couple of things that are dear to us are free to air television coverage and free access to the village," he told Newstalk ZB.

    "Those things cost. It would be ludicrous to charge people to go through the village.

    "But we have got to get to the point where we have a deal."

    Dalton says it remains a last resort option to take the regatta to Italy if Auckland can't meet certain specifications.

    He was pleased Auckland Council had confirmed on Thursday its preferred location for the team bases as Wynyard Basin.

    The decision isn't binding on the government, which wants to continue to investigate a second option.

    Dalton says the Wynyard Basin "cluster" is the better outcome and hopes it can get the green light quickly because the resource consent for the development has to be in by January 15.

    "There is some tension but it is all part of the process," he said.

    "We are making good progress and [Thursday] was a great step. We are engaged with the council and the government and we are moving forward."


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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