With just two days to go before the next America's Cup venue is announced, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has confirmed it would be harder to justify government funding if the venue were Bermuda in 2017.
"It's hard to see the benefits of it from a New Zealand exporter's point of view if it's Bermuda [rather] than if it's San Diego, but we'll keep an open mind," he told the Herald.
He was expecting a proposal for funding from Team New Zealand no matter which venue was chosen.
"But I don't know the details of the proposals. I don't know if they'll be asking for the same money in both venues. I don't know if there's anything else we should take into account."
Mr Joyce said he had canvassed the relevant agencies such as New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Tourism New Zealand "and they were unambiguously more interested in the West Coast of the US than Bermuda".
The Government funded the last campaign to the tune of $36 million. It gave another $5 million after the 8-9 race loss to US entry Oracle in San Francisco in September last year in order to keep key staff.
Mr Joyce said there were always "twists and turns" with the America's Cup so he did not want to pre-judge the decision. "For all I know there will some sort of twist about some of it being held somewhere and some of it somewhere else so we've just got to wait and see."