Report: Three America's Cup World Series regattas planned in Palma de Mallorca
Update 4pm: We obtained more concrete details on the negotiations between the Chamber of Commerce in Palma and BMW Oracle. It appears that BMW Oracle will only offer one event in 2011 but the city's desire is to stage 3 events (one each year, from 2011 to 2013) in order to get a better return on their expenditure. The hosting fee is 5 million euros and covers all three events. As per the Chamber of Commerce, Palma can't afford to spend more money.
The regattas, if the two parties come into an agreement, would be held between the months of April and July. August is off-limits in Palma because that is when the island's premiere event, the Copa del Rey, takes place. Other calendar issues that have to be taken into consideration are the Palmavela regatta and the Easter holidays. Palma being a major tourist destination, there will certainly be a shortage of hotel rooms during that period.
Finally, it is quite probable the Real Club Nautico Palma is involved with the organization of the event. In addition to the cash payment, BMW Oracle, among other things, requires mooring space for 50 mega-yachts as well as 30,000 square meters of empty space for the race logistics.
With approximately seven months left until the curtain-raising event of the brand new America's Cup World Series, it is obvious BMW Oracle are busy meeting with cities around the world that are interested in eventually becoming hosts of one, or more, events.
If one is to believe the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, it now appears that Palma de Mallorca is one of the cities that has been approached by the holder of the America's Cup. According to the article that appeared in today's edition, Russell Coutts was in Palma a few days ago and met with the President of the local Chamber of Commerce, in order to negotiate an agreement on a number of America's Cup World Series events.
The article claims that Palma was offered the possibility of holding three events during the period from April to July in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. In exchange, the Spanish city will have to pay Larry Ellison's team of total of 5 million euros in host city fees.
The author of the article considers this to be a surprisingly small amount, most probably due to the current economic crisis. In comparison, according to the article, the Louis Vuitton regatta in La Maddalena cost the local authorities 4 million euros and the regional government of Andalusia paid 1.8 million euros for the right to hold three Extreme Sailing events. These events being considerably less popular than an Americas Cup race, it seems that even the pinnacle regatta of the sport of sailing doesn't escape from the financial turmoil.
Finally, always according to the article, in addition to San Francisco and Palma, other cities that could stage America's Cup events are Newport, Venice and cities in Portugal, the UAE and Russia.