Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton (center) is clearly thrilled at the prospect of defending the America’s Cup someplace other than Auckland, New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton (center) is clearly thrilled at the prospect of defending the America’s Cup someplace other than Auckland, New Zealand

It’s official. Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron are ditching their fans in Auckland for the port city of Barcelona, Spain. No word yet on how many pieces of silver will be changing hands as part of the deal that will see Barcelona play host to the 37th America’s Cup. The decision comes in the wake of months of acrimony and speculation following ETNZ’s announcement last year that the financial package being offered by Auckland wouldn’t be sufficient for it to mount a successful defense. In winning the hosting rights, Barcelona beat out Cork, Ireland, and Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Barcelona really is one of the most recognized cities in the world, so to have the ability to host the most recognized sailing event in the world is hugely exciting,” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton. “As Defender of the America’s Cup, we have always felt the responsibility to grow the event, the audience, and the sport of sailing on a global scale and certainly having the event hosted in a significant city such as Barcelona will allow us to propel the growth trajectory on the global sporting stage.”





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