Waterfront Auckland is exploring six waterfront locations in the event Team New Zealand win the America's Cup and bring the Auld Mug back to the City of Sails.
The council body has started thinking about where the team compounds and a race village would be with an eye to triggering some new development.
Apart from locating the race village at Queens Wharf - party central for the Rugby World Cup - the other five sites would require significant work and financial investment.
They include building a new marina within Westhaven marina, a sheltered compound at the tip of Wynyard Quarter, Wynyard Wharf, a wharf extension to Halsey St and Captain Cook Wharf.
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The Viaduct Harbour, which hosted Team New Zealand and racing syndicates for the 2000 and 2003 defences of the Cup, has no space for syndicates. Even the Team New Zealand base, off Halsey St, is earmarked for a hotel development.
Waterfront Auckland chairman Sir Bob Harvey said the Auckland waterfront was the spiritual home of the America's Cup in New Zealand.
"Large-scale events such as the America's Cup have proven to be a significant catalyst for change for the region and an opportunity to create legacy infrastructure in Auckland."
Yesterday, Team New Zealand would not be drawn on the location of a Cup defence, saying it was a question for after the America's Cup "as it may be a question that you don't need to ask at all".
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development destination and marketing general manager Rachael Carroll said the return of the America's Cup would be another chance to showcase the city's waterfront and marina industries.
Former Auckland regional councillor and planner Dr Joel Cayford said Auckland needed to avoid a replay of government "assistance" that occurred during the Rugby World Cup and building infrastructure that would be no longer needed, like the Cloud on Queens Wharf.
- Additional reporting Dana Johannsen