An America's Cup syndicate could be based at Marsden Pt in Northland when the Auld Mug is next contested, with Northport dusting off plans it had in 2012 to host then Cup-holder Oracle.
The next America's Cup regatta is likely to be in Auckland in 2021, with planning already underway as the Cup returned to New Zealand yesterday with the successful Team NZ members for a parade through Auckland today.
In 2010 Oracle, which lost the Cup to Team NZ in Bermuda last month, approached Northport asking to base itself there ahead of its 2013 cup defence in San Francisco.
Oracle, owned by United States billionaire Larry Ellison, wanted to base itself at Northport so its two America's Cup AC72 wingsail catamarans could go head-to-head in some spectacular matchracing just off the Ruakaka coast.
The plan was eventually abandoned, with Oracle choosing instead to base itself in San Francisco, but a lot of work went into the approach, which was seen as a potential financial boon for the port and the district.
A least 50 houses suitable for the influx of crew, support team and their families would have been needed for an extended period.
The cancellation disappointed those working with Oracle, but they hoped at the time that the team might look at the port as a base again.
Northport spokesman Peter Heath said the port would be delighted to host a syndicate at or before the 2021 Cup and still had its plans for Oracle that it could quickly dust off and expand on if needed.
Heath said Northport would not actively pursue any syndicates, but was more than willing to help approached. "Yes, Northport would be very interested in having an America's Cup syndicate based at Marsden Pt. It was originally discussed back in 2012 with Oracle after they approached us," Mr Heath said.
"If we were approached again by a syndicate wanting to come here we would take it very seriously."
He said it had not been approached yet by any potential Cup syndicates, but Northport would make an ideal base with its proximity to Auckland and its deep-water port.
He said hosting a syndicate would be very positive for the port and the district. It would potentially bring in millions of dollars to the economy.
Northland Inc chief executive David Wilson said Northland was well placed to get a slice of the Cup action if it was held in Auckland, with the region boasting so many advantages to help run the event smoothly.
Northland had a world-renowned marine industry that could service and refit the fleet of super yachts expected to follow the Cup and superb tourism opportunities.