America's Cup organisers cash in on delays
DUNCAN JOHNSTONE IN SAN FRANCISCO
The America's Cup postponements have been a dream for the regatta's organisers - they are laughing all the way to the bank with every day it drags out.
The fans and teams are frustrated, but the money men just see revenue pouring in the longer it goes on. Eight races have been affected by weather, effectively meaning four extra days.
Chief executive Stephen Barclay made no apologies for the smile on his face as yesterday was wiped out because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. Saturday in San Francisco meant a big crowd had been drawn through the concession areas that bring in revenue and they'll be back today on the expectation that the racing will be on.
They'll return tomorrow unless Team New Zealand can finally claim the match point that has eluded them over the last five days through a mix of frustrating winds and Oracle's dogged fightback.
Barclay wouldn't put a figure on daily profits, other than to confirm "revenue exceeds our expenses".
For an event that went through lean times during the dull Louis Vuitton Cup series with lengthy delays between race days, this is bonus time - an opportunity to catch up.
"The good thing now is that every day we go now, we are in the black," Barclay said.
He's had mixed emotions. As a Kiwi he's torn between Team New Zealand getting the job done and the extra revenue that the extended drama attracts.
"I have to say we didn't think we'd get this far into it [the final].
"We were like everyone else, we thought with first version of the boats, there would be differences in them, we didn't expect it to be this close.
"So we have gone past where we thought we'd end up. To go into our third weekend is just fantastic - for economic reasons but also for the legacy in San Francisco.
"Early on it was heavy going, no doubt. But now the place has just gone off, the racing has done that."
Regatta director Iain Murray confirmed that if the unthinkable happened and Oracle pushed the final beyond Tuesday, the show would keep rolling despite the paperwork that would be required.
"The Coast Guard is not going to stop the America's Cup," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News