RIEDC overestimated America's Cup haul

Feb 1, 2013


The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation estimated this summer’s America’s Cup sailing event would pump more than $70 million into the state’s economy. But the actual haul was much less.

Hopes were high for the economic impact of this past June’s America’s Cup races. Former EDC chief Keith Stokes told ABC 6 he expected more than 100-thousand visitors. EDC officials scaled back their high hopes in the days before the event. But a new analysis from a Maine-based consulting firm paints a much more modest picture. The report estimates the event’s direct economic impact was about $24 million dollars and that about 60,000 visitors attended. EDC spokesman and event planner Paul Harden says the report’s data will help in planning future events.

“We actually surveyed, or had our company survey, 1200 people that came into the race," said Harden. "We also learned where people came from, how long they were staying for the event, how they got here, what their spending patterns were.”

Harden says the EDC hopes to attract more big boating events to Rhode Island. He says the state’s investment in improving Newport’s Fort Adams area could be a draw.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org