America’s Cup Rally Draws 150 Supporters

The Newport Daily News reported that more than 150 people rallied at New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, on Tuesday, Dec. 22, entreating the state to make the investment in boating facilities at Fort Adams State Park in Newport so it can host the 2013 America’s Cup races.

Ken Read, former America’s cup helmsman and skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race entry, PUMA Racing, spoke to the crowd, emphasizing the benefits the Cup would bring to the local marine industry.

“The infrastructure alone that needs to be created to host this event will become the state’s aquatic convention center, certainly bringing events like the America’s Cup, but also other major events like a Volvo Ocean Race stopover, the Olympic trials, and non-sailing events as well,” Read said.

If the state makes the necessary investment in infrastructure, which could cost as much as $50 million, BMW Oracle Racing negotiators Stephen Barclay and Tom Ehman have hinted that they will bring the Cup to Newport in 2013, although no formal decision has been made. Ehman, who helped found SailNewport, added that future Cup races could be held in Newport as often as every 2 years, as the race organizers want to increase the frequency of the event so that public enthusiasm remains high.

Not everyone is keen to shell out taxpayer dollars to bring the Cup to Rhode Island, however, especially given the state’s current economic situation.

Read a dissenting opinion:

The Providence Journal: ProJo

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