Cork is lining up a bid for the rights to host the prestigious 2024 America’s Cup yacht race — the massive global sporting event which could be worth over a billion euro to the economy.
A technical team from the event's organising authority visited Cork city and harbour over the weekend for a range of technical briefings and site assessments, including an aerial assessment conducted during a flight over the harbour.
They were all vaccinated and provided the results of negative PCR tests before their arrival in Ireland and sources involved have insisted that all the events were held in line with public health guidelines.
They were accompanied by Irish tourism bosses, as well as by city and county officials at various stages.
They attended a number of events, including an outdoor briefing on a veranda or balcony at the Sirius Arts centre in Cobh on Friday night, also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney; a lunch event at Camden Fort Meagher on Saturday; and the delegation also visited Cork city over the weekend to experience the buzz of the city centre.
A spokesperson for Mr Coveney confirmed he was part of a series of briefings but she declined to comment in any further detail.
“A small international team assessed sites in Cork last weekend for potential future events,” she said.
“Mr Coveney attended a number of briefings and presentations on the excellent facilities and sites Cork City and Harbour has to offer for major international tournaments.
“All events in his programme were compliant with public health rules.”
It comes ahead of a decision, expected within days on whether or not the current America’s Cup title defenders, New Zealand, will exercise its right to defend its title at home or not.
Cowes, Jedda in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Singapore, and Valencia in Spain, which hosted the 2007 America’s Cup, are also understood to be considering bids in the event New Zealand opts to defend its title abroad.
That 2007 event generated an estimated €6bn for the Spanish economy between 2007 and 2015 with most of that money spent in Valencia itself.