Preparations for next summer’s America’s Cup World Series have come under fire amid claims organisers haven’t gained permission over the size of the event site in the city – despite having already issued thousands of tickets for the spectacle.
Portsmouth City Council’s Linda Symes said at a public meeting yesterday that event organisers shouldn’t have gone public with a map detailing how the visitor arenas across Southsea Common would look when the authority has yet to agree to their demands.
The council had signed a two-year deal with organisers Team Origin for the use of Southsea Common for the event, featuring Portsmouth-based sailing team Land Rover BAR and Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie.
It seems event organisers have decided to change the layout of the event and put on a new pay-to-enter race village around Southsea Castle while making the common a free-to-view area with no restrictions separate to the main event site – a move that still needs approval.
And The Portsmouth News newspaper understands the council has big concerns over the proposed layout – and fear visitors to the common will feel alienated while paying customers in the race village and grandstand spectators would be able to enjoy a raft of benefits.
In a statement Team Origin said: ‘We have a written agreement in principle with Portsmouth City Council for the use of the space which includes the Race Village, based on certain criteria.
‘This agreement enabled tickets to go live on November 10th 2015 and the official 2016 Race Village map to be promoted.’
It added that they are working closely with the council’s event advisory group.
Read the full story at portsmouth.co.uk