Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton says it is not the team's intention to take the America's Cup offshore.

He told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking today he would be very surprised if that happened.

''But we have got to get to the point where we have a deal,'' he said referring to suggestions of a hosting fee and debate over the Cup bases in Auckland.

Emirates Team New Zealand has said that Italy is a likely alternative venue for the 2021 event if agreements can't be reached.


On suggestions that the syndicate was using the hosting fee as blackmail, Dalton said they were trying to put on an event which is free to the public.

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''It would better be described as an event fee, because it's part of running the event.

''A couple of things that are dear to us are free to air television coverage and free access to the village.

"Those things cost. It would be ludicrous to charge people to go through the village.''

The syndicate had costs, it was a long event going from December 2020 to March 2021.
Dalton was happy with the progress on options for the Cup bases.

''We all agree that the Wynyard Basin is the better option.''

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Yesterday was a major step when the council outlined the Basin as its preferred choice.

''There is some tension but it is all part of the process. Sometimes it ends up being played out in the media and gets a life of its own. But we are making good progress and yesterday was a great step. We are engaged with the council and the government and we are moving forward.''

He said deadlines were tight, especially the January 15 resource consent date.

A lot of people could not see the economic benefits of the event but for every dollar spent there was between a $10 and $15 return.

''It's difficult, we would like everybody on board but everybody doesn't like rugby either even though it's our national game and we are damn good at it.

''So we are just doing our job to put as great event on.

''We want to make it the best America's Cup ever.''