Chicago's America's Cup host bid turned down
Wildcard Bermuda and California's San Diego have been shortlisted to host the next America's Cup.
Chicago has been eliminated from the venue race though looks certain to feature in world series action over the next two years that will be a buildup to the 35th America's Cup.
Russell Coutts, director of the America's Cup Event Authority, confirmed there were now just two venues vying for the honour.
A final decision will be made "before the end of the year".
"Both Bermuda and San Diego have made very compelling cases to be the host for the next America's Cup. We will be in good hands with either venue," Coutts said.
Team New Zealand would certainly prefer San Diego with the American trade connections helping the prospect of financial assistance from the New Zealand government.
Bermuda would represent a radical shift, meaning the Cup would be held in the waters of a British overseas territory.
It has a rich sailing history through the Newport to Bermuda race, as well as the Bermuda Gold Cup match-racing event.
Coutts said America's Cup racing there would take place close to shore, within the Great Sound.
San Diego is one of only seven cities to have hosted the America's Cup, holding the 1988, 1992 and 1995 events.
They were raced far offshore beyond Point Loma. But if San Diego is successful with its latest bid, racing will take place in San Diego Bay offering inshore viewing.
Coutts and his team will now will work closely with both venues to finalise logistics requirements and commercial opportunities, as well as to establish the needed relationships with private and public entities."We are now able to focus on two venues that are motivated and enthusiastic at the prospect of hosting the next America's Cup," Coutts said.
"I'm confident that we're on target to finish with a venue that allows us to achieve our goal of hosting an exciting and successful America's Cup built on a strong commercial foundation."