Manawatu Standard

Covid slashes cash haul for America’s Cup

- Todd Niall

The 36th America’s Cup in Auckland returned 79 cents for every dollar invested by the Government and the Auckland Council, a new study has shown.

The economic benefit assessment, produced by consultanc­y Fresh Info, said that nationwide a total of $744.2 million was invested publicly, but it generated revenue of just $588.1m.

The performanc­e in the host city of Auckland was better, returning 85c in the public dollar, with $629.4m spent and $537.8m generated.

The extra economic activity generated nationwide in 2021 is smaller than 2000’s $640m revenue, but bigger than 2003’s $529m.

The formula used has some unusual features, including $92m of Auckland Council infrastruc­ture that was not cup-specific.

The benefits also don’t include the value of overseas television and media coverage, which politician­s put great store in during the regatta for showing Aotearoa as active during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The pandemic ensured the event fell far short of providing the $600m to $1 billion expected boost to the New Zealand economy that was forecast in 2017 – a return of between 99.7c and $1.14 for every dollar invested. The biggest loss was the spending by visiting superyacht­s that largely remained absent, and with the absence of foreign cup-related tourists and overseas media and sponsors.

The analysis shows a far greater investment of $215m, by cohost the Auckland Council, than the $113m figure it had budgeted for cup-related infrastruc­ture.

The report also included investment triggered by the event even if it was not directly related, such as the council’s $92m expenditur­e on work in areas redevelope­d for the cup, that would save costly retrofitti­ng later. The report said the figures were not directly comparable to previous forecasts because they included social, environmen­tal and cultural benefits.

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