Hampshire & Isle of Wight

America's Cup in Portsmouth: criticism from spectators

Sunday on Southsea Common
Image caption Racing was cancelled and the public viewing areas evacuated due to bad weather on Sunday

Portsmouth "made history" in staging the The America's Cup World Series, the city council leader has said, despite criticism from some spectators.

Racing was cancelled and the public viewing areas evacuated due to bad weather on Sunday.

There was criticism on social media over spectator provision and the refund policy of a cancelled concert.

Leader of the city council, Donna Jones, said there would be a "detailed analysis of the event".

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among those disappointed as racing was abandoned on Sunday.

Organisers Team Origin said Fanzone Arena and Grandstand ticket holders would be refunded.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The abandonment on Sunday meant the Land Rover BAR Racing team secured the overall victory across the weekend

Many spectators took to the organisers' Facebook page to complain about prices, viewing, toilet provision and catering.

Paul Dornan described the £45 Fanzone entry fee as "a lot for what you got".

Seafront attractions, including the Blue Reef Aquarium, blamed the event for a drop in trade.

Manager Lindsay Holloway said there had been "miscommunication and frankly poor management" by the organisers.

A spokesman for Team Origin Events said the Fanzone area was located directly in front of the racing and "enabled access to the free waterfront festival arena and the specific kids area".

He said: "We have set out from the start to engage with the existing seafront attractions to ensure that everyone benefited from this event."

Image caption With winds in excess of 30mph on Sunday, the race village was also closed for safety reasons

Local boat tours owner Mark Askey also said takings were "down 70%" on the same week last year.

"It was a big deterrent for us and numerous other small businesses," he said.

Record-breaking yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: "It was the right decision to cancel racing - but the real tragedy is Portsmouth built up so hard, but it has lost out on this big event."

On Friday, ticket holders to a cancelled South Coast proms concert were offered a refund plus free entry to Saturday's pop concert, angering people who had paid up to £48 for tickets for Saturday's show.

Organisers said the free tickets were a "gesture of goodwill".

Ms Jones said: "We need to remember this is the first time since 1861 this cup has been back on British soil, so regardless of what happens in the future, we've created history this weekend."

Image caption About 100,000 people are believed to have visited Portsmouth to watch the racing and entertainment on Saturday

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites