Team New Zealand has officially declined a combined offer from the Government and Auckland Council to help host the next America's Cup in Auckland and the sailing outfit will now start looking into overseas hosting options for the next regatta.
“The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash, the minister responsible for the America's Cup, in a statement this morning.
“Representatives of the Team New Zealand Board have informed the Crown-Council negotiators that the offer is not sufficient. The offer expires today, 16 June. From tomorrow, Team New Zealand is now free to seek support from other partners.
“We want the next America’s Cup raced in New Zealand. Tens of thousands of diehard Kiwi fans who turned out to support the historic defence of the Cup in March want it raced in New Zealand. It is disappointing we were unable to reach agreement within the exclusive negotiation period.
“At the end of the day the America’s Cup is a global commercial operation. It is an international business as much as a sporting contest. The team is now free to look to commercial sponsors, private supporters, or other avenues to bankroll the operation.
“Regardless, we wish the team all the best for the future. Team New Zealand is a world-class team. I know they will fly the flag for their home nation in the 37th America’s Cup, whether it is held in Auckland, or taken offshore."
Team NZ boss Grant Dalton said in a different statement Team New Zealand will now commence discussions with other nations to look into options regarding hosting AC37 events.
"No matter where in the world we are, we will always be Team New Zealand. Our priority has always been to keep and defend the America’s Cup successfully," Dalton said.
"We certainly want to explore holding a regatta in Auckland and along with discussing the venue for AC37 with other nations, would like to work through that opportunity also."
It comes after Dalton met with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron last night to discuss the situation after 1 NEWS revealed last week some concerned members were considering legal action to keep the racing in Kiwi waters.
The meeting appears to have worked with RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young adding in Team New Zealand's statement they understand the need to look overseas.
"Whilst we also remain hopeful that the cup can stay in New Zealand it would be prudent to now explore other options as well, with the primary objective to ensure we keep the America’s Cup trophy in the cabinet here at the club," Young said.
"As such we also understand the need to help ensure the viability of Emirates Team New Zealand so we have every opportunity to defend the America’s Cup again, wherever that may be.
"It would be an unprecedented achievement to win the America’s Cup three times in a row and taking the cup overseas may well offer the best chance for us to do so.
"At a meeting last night members were presented with this option and I believe generally understood this might need to happen.”
Figures leaked last month suggest the team has been offered $100 million from the Government for the next event. However, sources have told 1 NEWS that equates to around $30 million directly to the team, which is less than the last cup.
The rest is "in kind" funding, including money being pumped into the cup village and infrastructure.
Nash said in today's statement the cash in in-kind support proposal was worth around $99 million.
Doha in the Middle East and Portsmouth in England have been touted as other possible hosting venues.