Cork's bid to host prestigious sailing competition in 2024 to be discussed

Coveney to update Cabinet now that Ireland is among the final contenders to host the prestigious sailing spectacular
Cork's bid to host prestigious sailing competition in 2024 to be discussed

Emirates Team New Zealand battle with Great Britain's Land Rover BAR during America's Cup challenger semifinals in Bermuda in 2017. The event is thought to be the oldest international competition in any sport.  Picture: Ricardo Pinto/ACEA/AP

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will update the Cabinet on Ireland’s bid to host the 37th America’s Cup in 2024. 

He has been working closely with the Taoiseach and the sports minister, Catherine Martin, over the last few months to bring the lucrative international sporting event to Irish shores. 

New Zealand is the current holder of the cup, the oldest trophy in sport which predates the modern Olympics by 45 years. However, the New Zealand government is unlikely to agree on terms to stage the next event there for a fourth time, so an international competition has been ongoing to win the hosting of the 2024 competition.

One of the world's top three sporting events 

The America's Cup is recognised as the third largest sporting event globally after the football World Cup and the Olympics, in terms of longevity, economic impact, and media exposure it delivers to the host venue. 

Camden Fort Meagher near Crosshaven and Roches Point at the entrance to Cork Harbour. Foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney is working on Ireland's application to be the venue for the America's Cup sailing compeititon. Picture: Denis Scannell
Camden Fort Meagher near Crosshaven and Roches Point at the entrance to Cork Harbour. Foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney is working on Ireland's application to be the venue for the America's Cup sailing compeititon. Picture: Denis Scannell

Racing takes place over a period of three to four months and the teams are based at the host venue for at least six months prior to the start of the competition and for as long as three years in the build-up period.

The cup that concluded on March 17 of this year had a global viewership of 940m. Ireland’s bid is based on delivering real benefits and direct economic returns. 

Economic impact of hosting the event 

The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in 2017 forecast up to €592m would be injected directly into New Zealand's economy between 2018 and 2021 as a result of hosting the event.

Ireland has already been shortlisted as a potential host country for AC37, with Cork proposed as the host venue. 

Cruise liners are an entirely different type of  vessel of course — but Cork's rich marine heritage and infrastructure are among the elements examined by the America's Cup team, and the town of Cobh was one of the key destinations they visited. Picture: Dan Linehan
Cruise liners are an entirely different type of  vessel of course — but Cork's rich marine heritage and infrastructure are among the elements examined by the America's Cup team, and the town of Cobh was one of the key destinations they visited. Picture: Dan Linehan

A team of specialists visited Cork Harbour in June and were accompanied by Mr Coveney to assess everything from a site for a team village and local facilities and attractions, as well as the essential racing elements such as wind speed, tides, and the racing circuit.

Mr Coveney will inform the cabinet that Ireland has progressed to the final stage of judging with a final decision due in approximately eight weeks. 

The America's Cup team that came to Cork was 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 in Cobh, and visited Camden Fort Meagher and Cork City. 

It's estimated that the America's Cup boosted New Zealand's economy to the tune of €592m over three years. Now Ireland is making a bid to host the 37th America’s Cup in 2024. Picture: Carlo Borlenghi/SEA&SEE
It's estimated that the America's Cup boosted New Zealand's economy to the tune of €592m over three years. Now Ireland is making a bid to host the 37th America’s Cup in 2024. Picture: Carlo Borlenghi/SEA&SEE

Dubai, Singapore, and Valencia in Spain, which hosted the 2007 America’s Cup, are also understood to be considering bids.

That 2007 event generated an estimated €6bn for the Spanish economy between 2007 and 2015 with most of that money spent in Valencia itself.

The event transformed the city’s once dilapidated docklands region into a thriving waterfront with luxury hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants.

The America’s Cup takes place every four years and requires preparation and planning over a 30-month lead-in period.

A spokesperson for Mr Coveney previously confirmed that he was taking part in a series of briefings to attract a large international event to the city and harbour. 

“Minister 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," he said.

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