A total of 245,460 spectators attended last month’s America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth, according to newly released figures.
The numbers include 108,329 spectators within the Southsea common event site; 25,700 spectators on the water and 111,431 watching the action from the sites around Portsmouth including the Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays
The day with the best weather – Saturday 25 July – delivered 67,374 spectators onsite, 22,000 on – water and a further 49,067 off site.
The event was the first America’s Cup racing to be held in the Solent since the historic first event back in 1851. The four-day event attracted crowds in the event village, which included a free Waterfront Festival Arena packed with family attractions and a Fanzone Arena with live stage appearances from sailing stars, plus some spectacular aerial displays from acrobatic stunt teams.
Sir Keith Mills, event chairman, said: ‘On behalf of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth, we would like to thank all the spectators that came from around the world to be part of this iconic sailing event.
‘Despite the weather, the event delivered and the Saturday was a particular highlight, with over 60,000 people visiting the on-land spectator arena and over 22,000 watching the action from the water. The America’s Cup teams delivered spectacular racing on the water and with home team Land Rover BAR winning the event making it extra special.’
He added: ‘In addition to the amazing atmosphere created by the spectators, the feedback from our corporate partners and the media in attendance has been very positive, this is despite losing an event day due to the extreme weather on Sunday 26 July.
‘We will be providing a full event economic and media impact report by the end of August to highlight the benefits of the event to the Portsmouth area and the initial results are hugely positive reading.
‘We are now straight into planning mode for next year’s event, scheduled to be held between 21 and 24 July 2016, and there is little doubt that this event is now a must-attend event on the British sporting calendar.’
Sir Ben Ainslie, team principle and skipper for the British team Land Rover BAR, said: ‘In my sailing career, I’ve never seen anything like that. The amount of people that came out on the water, on the shore line, supporting the event and supporting us as a home team, all of us as a team were completely blown away.’
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Planning now starts for 2016 with last month marking the first of two years in which Portsmouth will host the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series with the next year’s edition also scheduled to take place in July.