The America's Cup is reputed to be the oldest international sporting competition. It has been contested between yachts representing yacht clubs of foreign nations since 1851. Team New Zealand, representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, successfully challenged for the Cup of San Diego in 1995. In the austral summer of 1999/2000, for only the second time in history, the America's Cup will be hosted by a country other than the United States of America. The hosting of this event presents an enormous challenge for a small isolated nation like New Zealand. A record 18 syndicates have lodged entries for the Cup. The infrastructural needs of these challenging groups, the huge influx of visitors over the Cup competition and the logistics of managing a large maritime sporting event are far beyond anything New Zealand has hosted before. A NZ$60 million redevelopment of a yacht harbor is currently underway in downtown Auckland. New Zealand and international commercial sponsors have been signed to help fund the defense of the Cup and the organization of the event. Central, regional and local government are gearing up to cope with the estimated additional 120,000 visitors to the city of Auckland for the event. Over 2,000 media representatives from over 40 countries are expected. The international exposure for New Zealand could be worth as much as NZ$90 million. Economic impact assessments predict that the Cup could be worth in excess of NZ$2.2 billion. If Team New Zealand defeats the challenger and retains the Cup these financial and other benefits will increase further as New Zealand is able to host a further Cup event in the future. Thus, the America's Cup presents an enormous challenge and an unprecedented opportunity for New Zealand. This sporting event will have impacts that go far beyond its attraction for tourists or its financial benefits. It has the potential, if successfully staged and successfully defended, to create a legacy that re-defines the place of this small island nation on the world stage.
Orams, Mark B. and Brons, Anouska
"Potential Impacts of a Major Sport/Tourism Event: The America's Cup 2000, Auckland, New Zealand,"
Visions in Leisure and Business: Vol. 18
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/visions/vol18/iss1/3