11 Jul 2020

Team NZ renting Viaduct headquarters for $1 a year

4:19 pm on 11 July 2020

Team New Zealand is paying $1 a year to rent the Viaduct Events Centre as its headquarters for next year's America's Cup, resulting in $13 million of lost revenue for Auckland Council.

The Viaduct Events Centre.

The Viaduct Events Centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

In a statement, council said it is looking at moving Team NZ's base years sooner than planned to reinstate the events centre as a revenue gatherer from September next year.

Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) oversees the city's events venues and Mayor Phil Goff met with the division in February to discuss the impact Covid-19 was having on its budget.

"As part of that discussion, options to increase revenue were canvassed," said a spokesperson for the mayoral office.

Mayor Goff was informed it might be possible to move Team NZ's base soon after the March regatta if an alternative venue could be agreed on.

Team NZ is on the nominal $1 rent until March, but the lease lasts until 2027.

"In this scenario, RFA would be able to return the Viaduct Events Centre to normal operation sooner than otherwise planned, with the potential to generate revenue to help offset Covid-19 related losses."

Council's director for infrastructure and environmental services, Barry Potter, said the $13m foregone rent revenue is part of council's overall $113 million contribution to the America's Cup.

"It is in-kind support rather than direct financial support, with the foregone revenue budgeted as part of the council's total contribution to hosting the America's Cup."

He said using the Viaduct Events Centre was a way of using existing infrastructure to reduce costs and limit imposing more buildings on the harbour's edge.

Team NZ set up their base at the Viaduct Events Centre in 2018, with the first three years provided at nominal rent. If Team NZ continue to occupy the centre after the regatta next March, the lease agreement requires them to pay market rent.

RFA is now working with Team NZ to find a suitable new base for it to move to after the America's Cup.

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