Cloud could be Cup base

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SAMHEWAT

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.

SUP­PLIED

The Cloud, on Auck­land’s Queens Wharf, has the po­ten­tial to house Amer­ica’s Cup syn­di­cate.

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