America's Cup may cost €9m upfront if Ireland's bid wins

Ireland's Cork Harbour — and Valencia in Spain, its main rival to host the yacht race in 2024 — are thought to have been requested to pay the fee in the event of their bid being accepted
America's Cup may cost €9m upfront if Ireland's bid wins

If Ireland is successful in its bid to host the America's Cup yacht race in 2024, an upfront fee of €9m is expected to be paid. Picture: Carlo Borlenghi/Sea&See

If Ireland is successful in its bid to host the America's Cup, an upfront fee of €9m is expected to be paid. 

Sources close to the bid say the money will be payable by whichever country wins the right to host the yacht race to the organisers, America's Cup Events Ltd (ACE), on the day the successful bid is announced.

Cork North-Central TD Mick Barry said the Government needs to clarify what the event will cost the Irish State, and how the funds will be paid. He called on Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who has spearheaded Ireland's campaign to secure the event at government level, to spell out exactly what are the costs involved. 

"He seems keen to spend a lot of taxpayers' money on this elite sporting event that was a loss-maker for Auckland," Mr Barry said.

Cork Harbour tipped to host 2024 race

Cork is hotly tipped to be the main host venue for the 2024 America's Cup, held this year in Auckland, New Zealand, and is running neck-and-neck with the Spanish city of Valencia, which has hosted the contest before, and already has dedicated infrastructure in place.

Simon Coveney, who has spearheaded the Cork bid, told reporters recently he is hopeful the announcement of the successful host on September 17 will be good news for Ireland.

There are two tranches of funding required by the America's Cup — the infrastructure costs to prepare for the event, and the organisers' fee.

No comment from the department

It is understood that Valencia has also been asked to agree to make a payment of NZ$15m — just under €9m — to the organisers.

Both Valencia and Cork are understood to have sought indemnities in the event that the race is cancelled or the subject of a legal challenge.

Asked about the upfront fee, the Department of Tourism and Sport said: "This is under consideration by Government Departments and we are not in a position to comment further at this time.”

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