If ever a city needed to clean up its image through the staging of an international sporting event it would be Naples. While watchers of the city report that the piles of rubbish that appeared on news bulletins around the world are largely gone, Brand Napoli has some work to do to to convince tourists that it is safe and that they should visit.
This week, the America’s Cup World Circus has shown that the latent demand for spectator oriented sailing in the UK exceeds a single round of the Extreme Sailing Series at Cowes Week, and that people will travel to watch top teams compete close to shore. The ACWS is hoping that the same demand exists in Italy, to bring people to Naples in April 2012 and May 2013.
Richard Worth, from the ACEA said in a statement:
“I’m very pleased to confirm we will be bringing the America’s Cup World Series to Naples. Naples offers us a Mediterranean backdrop, and a stadium set-up within the Bay of Naples – a perfect complement to the exciting racing the AC World Series provides.”
A delegation from the Naples event organizing committee, including the Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris, are in Plymouth to see how the magnetism of the America’s Cup brand can attract people to a city that is far from the population and difficult to get to.
The representatives from Napoli speak with one voice:
“We are very pleased to become a part of the story of the America’s Cup World Series. Like the America’s Cup, we have a rich tradition and history and long association with the sea. We are excited the America’s Cup World Series will now bring the most cutting-edge boats and best sailors in the world to our shores.”
The news means that the ‘World’ series now has 2 rounds in the USA (San Diego & Newport RI) and 2 in Italy (Venice & Naples), which perhaps stems from the original combination of Defender and Challenger of Record, but seems strange without any Italian teams (currently) competing.
“The combination of Venice and Naples, two spectacular Italian venues, will create an exciting dynamic in a country that has a passionate fan base for the America’s Cup.”
However, Italians don’t follow F1 – they follow Ferrari. Italians don’t follow MotoGP – they follow Valentino Rossi. Italians would follow Mascalzone Latino or Luna Rossa, but without those teams competing, why would they care?
The news from Plymouth is that preliminary terms have been signed. There will be a press conference in Naples on September 29th, to formally announce the details of the two World Series events, including dates.