THE Portsmouth region is being urged to rally behind next year’s America’s Cup World Series as the clock ticks down to the end of an early-bird ticket offer to the sailing spectacle.
Discounted advance tickets to the July 2016 Southsea regatta, featuring Sir Ben Ainslie’s Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR team and five international sides, have been on sale since Tuesday, November 10.
This year, over 250,000 people visited the city and enjoyed some of the best sailing seen in the UK in decades. Next year, they have the ability to do that again.Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council
While organisers Team Origin won’t reveal how many have been sold, they insist there’s been a strong take-up.
And they are urging people to still take up the chance to bag early-bird tickets to the all-improved race village, which is to feature near Southsea Castle, before the offer ends on Sunday, December 6.
The village will boast a ‘technology zone’ covering the history of the cup, a children’s zone and a market with exhibitions.
Early passes cost £19.80 for adults, £9.90 for children aged five to 15, and under-fives go free. The cost also covers a booking fee.
Tickets for premier grandstand seating have almost sold out.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said it was hugely important spectators pack out Southsea to make the regatta better than the one held this summer, which kicked off the America’s Cup qualifiers ahead of the 2017 finals in Bermuda.
She said: ‘The ACWS Portsmouth is one of the biggest events in the annual calendar.
‘This year, over 250,000 people visited the city and enjoyed some of the best sailing seen in the UK in decades.
‘Next year, they have the ability to do that again.
‘It’s a great opportunity, and an important event to aide the city’s regeneration.’
Southsea Common meanwhile will be a unrestricted, non-ticketed area, so anyone can show up with picnics and drink and enjoy watching all of the racing action.
It follows complaints made about strict security rules on food and drink this year and about boards going up around the common to separate ticket holders from the public.
An economic report published into this year’s world series revealed spectators spent £5.9m and the benefit to the UK economy through the event was £4.3m after costs were taken into account, with £1.3m coming Portsmouth’s way and Hampshire enjoying £1.6m of benefits.
For tickets, go to acwsportsmouth.com