A research paper by two Bermuda College staff members on public attitudes to the 35th America’s Cup provides a range of opinion on the event. Here is an excerpt of a report on the project published in The Royal Gazette…
Institutional researcher Cordell Riley and senior lecturer Shawn De Shields interviewed 650 island residents for their views on the economic and social impacts that next summer’s yachting event will have on Bermuda, where it will be hosted.
The survey found that 77 per cent of respondents believed that Bermuda would benefit economically “to a great extent or somewhat” from hosting AC35, while 73 per cent thought the event would go “a long way to restoring Bermuda’s image as a premium tourism destination”.
The study also found that 58 per cent of respondents believed that the $77 million committed to the international event should have been spent on more pressing issues.
“While up until now only the economic impacts of hosting the America’s Cup were taken into consideration, we delved into the social impacts as well,” noted Riley. “Consultation and communication with residents would assist in making the event a success. More needs to be done in this area.”
Riley said that, regarding AC35’s economic impact, “it would have been better to have underpromised and overdelivered”, adding that additional hotel revenues were more likely to total $3 million rather than the $5.5 million projected by local event organizer, the ACBDA (America’s Cup Bermuda Ltd.).
He said: “We just hope that the outcome of San Francisco (which hosted the most recent America’s Cup in 2013), where the realities fell way short of economic expectations, is not our experience.”