America’s Cup - News

Firm hired to assess economic impact

  • The 35th America's Cup (File photograph)

An independent assessment has been commissioned to explore the economic impact to the island in the wake of the 35th America’s Cup.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has been hired by the ACBDA to conduct a study for completion by October, according to Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development.

The island has “never hosted an event of this magnitude”, Dr Gibbons said, leaving Bermuda in an “excellent” position to host similar large international sports events.

With the close of racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Team France and Land Rover BAR will depart Bermuda by the end of July.

The Government is to explore extending concessions provisions to give Oracle Team USA, Artemis and Softbank Team Japan the ability to maintain some presence, “even if it is substantially scaled down”, the minister said.

The decommissioning of temporary structures in the Event Village and along Freeport Drive has begun, with Cross Island expected to be clear by the end of September.

Meanwhile, the economic assessment of the event will also cover its social and environmental impact, which Dr Gibbons said was comparable to the studies completed by previous America’s Cup host venues, such as San Francisco and New Zealand.

“Additionally, ACBDA will produce an event report by September that will detail their work and describe how AC35 was delivered,” Dr Gibbons said. “ACBDA currently plans to wind down by the end of the calendar year.”

The island won “extraordinary visibility on the world stage” — and more details about Bermuda’s media exposure will be released as part of the final assessment report.

According to the ministry, more than 100,000 people visited the Village over 22 days, with 62,315 booked tickets on the special AC ferries, and some 2,000 boats registered as spectators.

“Bermuda hosted over 460 visiting boats, with over 80 of them being superyachts,” he added.

Boat owners, some of whom had never seen the island, sent in “extremely positive feedback”, and a long-term superyacht policy and legislative framework is now under development.

Small businesses were also beneficiaries, with more than 30 — some new — represented at the village. Food and beverage business was “huge”, the minister said, and the island stands to reap more regattas.

The Endeavour Sailing Programme has been privately funded through 2018, and the future of the Red Bull AC Youth Team is now under discussion.