THE America’s Cup would be “a sporting event on a scale that Cork has never seen before” should the harbour be chosen as the next host venue for the competition.
That’s according to foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney who said Team New Zealand, those behind the world’s largest sailing event, want to announce the next event venue by September 17.
EY are in the process of finalising a cost-benefit analysis for Cork to host the event “which many would say is third only to the Olympics and the football World Cup,” Mr Coveney said.
He continued: “The America’s Cup goes on for nearly three years in terms of build-up events and team presence and so on - it’s a bit like Formula 1.
“This is a big, big sporting opportunity for Ireland. We are in a competitive process.
“Any proposals that are brought to government for decision will be consistent with the public spending code, and will be fully thought through on the back of a full cost-benefit analysis and of course a legal negotiation also with the sports management team in New Zealand who are involved in making that choice.
“This isn’t done yet, not by a long shot. We are in the middle of finalising a lot of important work.”
Minister Coveney said that should Ireland and Cork be successful in the bid to host the 2024 Cup, it would be hugely beneficial.
“The last time the America’s Cup was held in a European venue, 2.5 million spectators came to see it and was worth over €2bn to the Spanish economy.
“This is sport on a very big scale and we happen to have one of the most impressive and largest natural harbours in the world which has given us a natural resource to be able to credibly bid for an event of this scale,” he said.
“It’s very exciting. This is something that is less about the sport itself and more about the event and the investment and the momentum that can be built around the Cork and Munster economy (with) something of this magnitude coming here.
“We are in a good place in terms of this process but it is far from concluded.”