Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton has attempted to smooth the waters around the team's stance on hosting the next America's Cup in home waters, saying a bid to do so is about $50 million short of being a viable option.
Since the end of the 36th America's Cup in Auckland earlier this year, there has been speculation as to where the next edition would be held, with the belief that it would almost certainly be offshore.
While Ireland, Spain and Saudi Arabia have all been floated as possible venues, a bid launched by Kiwi rich lister Mark Dunphy to once again host the Cup in Auckland has drawn a lot of attention.
Addressing members of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron last night, Dalton explained to the club that while Dunphy believed his bid had the money needed, it was not a viable option for the team.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"Since March this year our numbers of an overall budget of $200m split between team ($120m) and event costs ($80m) have never changed," Dalton said.
"Of this total $200m budget, the consistent ask of potential venues has been essentially $120m with slight variations for relative overseas costs like accommodation. To be clear, categorically, it is not a process of 'selecting the highest bidder', as has also been mischievously circulated.
"However, there is no wonder that RNZYS members and public have become confused because Mr Dunphy's numbers and calculations have been somewhat fluid in their make-up. Initially Mr Dunphy made an assumption that the Government would substantially increase their financial contribution to the event, but on realising that this would not occur he then disingenuously changed the costs to make them fit his narrative."
Dalton explained to the RNZYS members that because there was no prize money for winning the America's Cup, any financial surplus from hosting the event would go towards the team's cost of not only competing but also the additional spend brought on by staging the event.
Dunphy had attempted to personally commit funds to keep the defence in New Zealand, but was later alleged to be working behind closed doors to generate a case against the Royal Yacht Squadron of the UK, the current Challengers of Record, by Team New Zealand.
As a result, the Defender of the Auld Mug have refused to continue any dealings with Dunphy, who had also previously called for Dalton to be axed as team boss.
While Team New Zealand were able to stage the event in Auckland this year, they were helped with the costs of doing so by a large contribution from the event's Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, who invested more than $150 million into the event.