Po­ten­tial Amer­ica’s Cup sites re­vealed

East and Bays Courier - - OUT & ABOUT - CRAIG HOYLE

Ma­jor changes are planned for Auck­land’s water­front in the next few years as the city pre­pares to host the next Amer­ica’s Cup.

The re­gatta won’t come cheap, with es­ti­mated costs rang­ing from $140 mil­lion to $190m.

Coun­cil­lors were pre­sented with five venue op­tions at a closed-door meet­ing on Mon­day, and Auck­land Coun­cil’s gov­ern­ing body will be asked to ap­prove a fi­nal choice next week.

At this stage the front-run­ner is an ex­ten­sion to Halsey Wharf, near the re­cently de­vel­oped Wyn­yard Quar­ter.

That’s the pre­ferred op­tion for Team New Zealand, as it ticks all the right boxes – but it’s also the most ex­pen­sive.

Two other op­tions in­volve the Cap­tain Cook Wharf, how­ever those ap­pear to be dead in the wa­ter for sev­eral rea­sons.

The wharf is cur­rently used by Ports of Auck­land, which is al­ready short on space and has made it clear it can­not va­cate Cap­tain Cook in time for the re­gatta.

Con­struc­tion around the wharf would also have a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant im­pact’’ on cruise ships, which would need to dock else­where.

In ad­di­tion, Team New Zealand has raised con­cerns about choppy wa­ter around Cap­tain Cook Wharf due to the fre­quent pass­ing of fer­ries and other ves­sels.

Rod Mar­ler from Panuku De­vel­op­ment Auck­land, the city’s re­gen­er­a­tion agency, ac­knowl­edged Cap­tain Cook no longer ap­peared vi­able but said the pro­pos­als ‘‘needed to be run to ground’’.

Two other op­tions also ap­pear un­likely to get the go-ahead as they pro­pose spread­ing the re­gatta venue across sev­eral water­front sites.

Team New Zealand has made it clear it wants com­pet­ing teams grouped to­gether to cre­ate the ‘‘feel­ing of one vil­lage’’.

‘‘A sin­gle work plat­form and build­ing in one area would cer­tainly be pre­ferred,’’ Mar­ler said.

That leaves Halsey Wharf as the only re­al­is­tic, vi­able op­tion for Auck­land if it wants to host the 2021 re­gatta.

‘‘We dearly want to host this event in Auck­land, and for Auck­lan­ders and new Zealan­ders to get the ben­e­fit from it,’’ said Steve Ar­mitage, gen­eral des­ti­na­tion man­ager for Auck­land Tourism, Events and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (ATEED).

A fi­nal de­ci­sion will be made by coun­cil on Novem­ber 23.

GETTY IM­AGES

Team New Zealand pa­rades the Auld Mug through Auck­land’s viaduct on their win­ning re­turn from Ber­muda.

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