Auckland no longer hosting SailGP’s New Zealand leg next March has freed up funding for other events, with Coldplay fans the initial winners.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited chief executive Nick Hill today confirmed the City of Sails would not be hosting the global foiling league’s stop due to the unavailability of Wynyard Point as a spectator venue.
The site, which formerly housed petrol tanks, has not been cleared for use, and Hill said SailGP boss Sir Russell Coutts had a clear vision for the event which involved the area.
With the funds that had been earmarked for the two-day regatta now freed up, Hill said Auckland not hosting SailGP directly impacted the recently announced Coldplay concert at Eden Park in November next year.
“There’s plenty of demand and ideas on how we might use that over the next 12 months. For example, the Coldplay announcement over the weekend is because we’ve got a bit more funding now to support them coming here,” Hill said.
The March regatta was set to be the league’s first regatta in Auckland, after making its New Zealand debut in Lyttelton earlier this year, and while Auckland is no longer set to host the event, SailGP is exploring other options.
“SailGP continues to work with its partners, including relevant local and central government agencies, to progress planning for its season-four New Zealand event [across] March 23-24, 2024,” a league statement said.
“We will share more information as soon as it is available.”
The news is another blow for Auckland sailing fans. The city was not involved as a stop in the most recent edition of the Ocean Race, which concluded in June this year, Barcelona won the hosting rights for the America’s Cup in 2024, while the America’s Cup preliminary regattas were scheduled for Vilanova i la Geltru (Spain), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Barcelona (Spain).
The scheduled 2024 SailGP event is the second in a four-year commitment by the league to host regattas in New Zealand, with the initial plan to be biennial visits to Lyttelton and Auckland - with the location switching each year - from 2023 to 2026.
Christopher Reive joined the Herald sports team in 2017, bringing the same versatility to his coverage as he does to his sports viewing habits.
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