The island of Bermuda offered America’s Cup organisers a package worth US$77m as part of its bid to host the next America’s Cup, according to Stuff.co.nz. The figures were revealed by Grant Gibbons, the island’s Minister for Economic Development.
The British territory, with 65,000 residents, was chosen over San Diego for the next America’s Cup. Gibbons’ address revealed that it would provide a US$15m event fee to the America’s Cup Events Authority, US$25m to underwrite any sponsorship shortfall by ACEA, and US$14m for site preparation and an America’s Cup village.
The government also said it would provide US$11m for operating expenses for the America’s Cup village as well as US$12m to cover transport costs, security, emergency services and legal bills for the event.
Gibbons told the legislature that the island could gain about US$250m from the event, while another US$14m would be gained by taxes and duties.
Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of Team Oracle USA, told scuttlebutt.com that the island was chosen because it met “two key criteria”. One was a central base that would house the competing teams and the second was a favourable time zone for live television coverage to make the event’s sponsors happy.
“That would have been very, very difficult in San Diego,” Coutts told the website. “It’s just that they [San Diego] didn’t have an open space which could effectively house even six AC62 teams together.”
Responding to criticism that the team was not using a US-based location, Coutts defended the choice of Bermuda. “We could have looked at it very narrowly, but this is an international event,” he told the website. “It’s got international teams, and those teams have sponsors, and the broadcasters are an important part of that sponsorship. So we looked at some of those things and weighted them very, very highly.”
Coutts emphasised that Bermuda could be site of the “best Cup yet” in the interview. “I’m really happy with where we are,” he said. “I’m absolutely convinced this is going to be a fantastic America’s Cup. It’s not a PR sell or anything like that; I believe it, I really do. It’s going to be the best one yet.”