Cloud could be Cup base
The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront has opened up as a potential venue for the new America’s Cup base, with mayor Phil Goff suggesting the left over from Rugby World Cup festivities has passed its used-by date.
The supposedly temporary structure was built in 2011 for the Rugby World Cup on Queens Wharf, but was left standing to provide another venue for Auckland.
It has hardly been the entertainment bastion the Auckland Council and New Zealand Government had hoped for though.
Aside from minor events, the $9.8 million building has only recently been used for sporting homecomings including the Black Caps - when they returned after the 2015 Cricket World Cup final - and the 2016 Rio Olympic team.
Now Goff thinks it has potential to house America’s Cup syndicate bases.
‘‘It was always a temporary structure,’’ Goff said.
‘‘It’s a building that is close to ending its useful life and the maintenance costs are starting to rise.
‘‘There is consideration being given to what might replace the Cloud on Queens Wharf. That’s another venue they [Team NZ] might be looking at.’’
In 2012, figures provided by Waterfront Auckland showed a net operational cost for running Queens Wharf at $969,000 per year.
The Cloud’s running costs were estimated to be more than $500,000 a year.
While Queen’s Wharf has become the Auckland hub for the British and Irish Lions Tour with test matches screened live, Auckland Council decided not to publicly show events like the America’s Cup or the 2015 Rugby World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand.
Despite that, Goff thinks there would be public push-back if it was decided that the Cloud would be removed and the wharf turned over to a new America’s Cup base.
‘‘It’s a venue that is still extensively used by the public and the public might be reluctant to give up that public space and that public access to have large sheds put on it for the purposes of housing the syndicate bases,’’ he said.
Goff was yet to meet with Team New Zealand officials, whom he said would have the first say in where the next Cup would be held.
He said they needed to have those discussions first before they rule anything in or out.
The Cloud, on Auckland’s Queens Wharf, has the potential to house America’s Cup syndicate.