America’s Cup: The Mayor of Malaga confirms that the bid for the AC37 venue on the Costa del Sol is under negotiation
by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 13 Jan 00:41 UTC
January 13, 2022
Malaga is a city on the Costa del Sol in Andalusia, © apairoftravelpants.com
Leading Spanish sailing journalist Juame Soler confirms on his blog that the Spanish port city of Málaga has been working discreetly for several weeks to host the 37th America’s Cup.
The regatta bid, to be held in 2024, was confirmed by the mayor of the city in the heart of the Costa del Sol, Francisco de la Torre, the event that would offer “high economic performance in exchange for moderate infrastructure investments. ”
The report makes it clear that private sponsors are being sought to reduce the public contribution.
Later, Soler reports that Daniel Pérez, the leader of the PSOE, as the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party on Malaga City Council and the party’s provincial secretary, has indicated that they need to study the circumstances of the cup in other cities and has asked De la Torre not “always asking the central government to seek investment” and being “more serious”.
The Andalusian city, just 65 nautical miles from Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, is the third Spanish city to be associated with hosting the 37th America’s Cup. Valencia were the first to drop out when expected regional funding failed to materialise, but there was commitment yet to be crystallized from backers of companies that would have had a commercial stake in the Cup. When Valencia withdrew there was a second bid around Barcelona that was trying to get more benefit for the whole of Spain and could therefore justify a federal financial involvement. But that offer seems to have slipped off the radar, too. Soler says in automatic translation that Barcelona, ”who had a very advanced project to host the cup, finally decided not to bid because, after all, the administrations didn’t have them very much for the job.”
Although no formal announcements have been made for the venue shortlist, Malaga is in the mix along with a refocused offering from Cork, Ireland, where the bases and America’s Cup Village are located in the city centre. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is also listed – but has some political downsides.
Auckland are believed to be on the sidelines, but the New Zealand government appear to have little appetite for hosting the 37th trophy. An exclusive three-month period of negotiations ended with the government offering a hosting fee that represented a 25% reduction on that offered for AC36. Auckland Council has tipped the SailGP event a higher hosting fee than they, the organizers of the 37th America’s Cup, offered. A bid from Kiwi Home Defense was flat-footed from the start and the Board of Emirates Team New Zealand has declined to delve further into the rogue group.
Sail-World understands an America’s Cup team has attempted to gain access to Auckland to start sailing in September this year. However, all applications were rejected – an action which confirms Auckland cannot host the 2024 event. All teams including owners can start sailing from September 17, 2022 and new teams can start sailing version 1 AC75 in five months from June 17, 2022.
Soler reports (via automatic translation) that De la Torre has assured Emirates Team New Zealand is “very interested” in the city due to “the combination of its strategic location, climate, wind regime, culture and history, infrastructures and connectivity”, quality and hotel capacity, but the mayor “insists that the cost of this project falls on private sponsors”.
He goes on to say that supporters of Malaga’s bid are “talking” with the Andalusian government, the Provincial Council, the Ports Authority and state ports. Culture and Sport Minister Miquel Iceta says Malaga would require “only” an adjustment in an area of the port where the teams’ bases would be located, rather than the construction and expense of new infrastructure.
Interestingly, the mayor “Francisco de la Torre” has claimed that some of the cup teams could start settling in the city between late 2022 and early 2023. The preliminary events are scheduled for the first quarter of 2024, with the Cup itself expected to be completed around a month before the start of the 2024 Olympic Games, at the end of July 2024.