Spending millions of dollars on infrastructure to host the next America's Cup in Auckland will create a "lasting legacy" for New Zealand and place the country as an "innovation hub", Auckland Tourist, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) says.
"I guess from our perspective we look at not just the ability to put together a facility and some infrastructure that's going to be able to support the America's Cup for this occasion, but potentially beyond," ATEED's external relations general manager Steve Armitage told Tony Veitch on Newstalk ZB today.
His comments come a day after Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton confirmed the 36th event will be held in Italy if New Zealand cannot host it.
Dalton made the comments when talking about infrastructure that needed to be committed to ensure Auckland's hosting of the event.
Armitage said it was difficult at this stage to talk about the hard costs for holding the event in Auckland, but doing so would enable ATEED to position the city as a leading destination internationally for maritime events.
"You can see the tangible benefits when you start to think more laterally about what does the even enable us to do, how can we bring forward some of the potential development opportunities that we've been considering in that Auckland waterfront space.
"I would argue strongly that a lot of it is actually key national infrastructure, which is why it's important to have central government at the table."
Once they had some clarity on what the infrastructure would look like, they could then begin putting pressure on the private sector to support the work.
"I don't think that people quite appreciate that beyond just the talent of the team and the innovation that went into that, not just within Team New Zealand as well, was incredible, and here is an opportunity now to seize on that opportunity to really start to breathe life back into the maritime sector, generate public growth, generate GDP around our innovation technology."
He said there would also be benefits unrelated to maritime events.
"There's a million dollars into the economy each time we provision a cruise ship here. You can't just measure the event purely around the visitation it provides."
Dalton said he could not answer how to justify to taxpayers and ratepayers spending the huge amount of money.
"We've won the America's Cup, it's the oldest sporting trophy in the world, it hugely prestigious worldwide and we want to have a fantastic event," he said.
"We believe the right thing for this country is that the facility should be put in place to do that."
Brett O'Riley of ATEED previously said extending Halsey St Wharf in Auckland for the event could cost $80 million to $100 million, but could potentially bring in a billion-dollar economic benefit.
In 2000, hosting the cup brought in a $640 million boost for New Zealand and created work for thousands.
The event led to a 1.4 per cent growth spurt for Auckland and pushed the national economy along by 0.8 per cent.
The racing syndicates, their organisers and sponsors poured $194 million into the economy, local and overseas spectators spent $211 million and spending by the owners of superyachts is calculated to have contributed $118 million. The marine industry benefited most from the Cup, earning $127 million.
The spendup created extra work equivalent to 10,620 fulltime jobs, of which 8070 were in Auckland.
In 2003 it injected $529 million into the economy, about $450 million of which was spent in Auckland.